In Seville last month we visited the Viñeria San Telmo, a tapas restaurant with a whole selection of innovative tapas. One of the best we tried was a chicken, cinnamon, and filo pastry creation, a sort of savoury millefeuille.

If you use filo pastry it makes an excellent and impressive starter, but I thought it would make rather a good main course chicken pie for two. If you use this amount of pastry (it comes sold in this quantity in most supermarkets) you should have enough over to make some pie decorations – some leaves, or your initials, or whatever. If you have any old cheese in your fridge which needs using up, you could grate some of that into this left-over for-decoration pastry. You can then take the decoration off, divided it between the two of you, pour out some red wine, and share a toast to each other and an amuse-bouche before you get down to your main course.

NB unexpectedly the leftover pie goes well in a salad. Sprinkle crumbled puff pastry on top of the salad leaves and dress in the usual way.


Recipe for Seville-inspired chicken pie


For two


  • 1 x 215 – 250 sheet puff pastry – rolled into whatever shape your dish is (you could also use filo- which was the original – in which case you can dust with icing sugar) 
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 oz/50g/⅓ cup flaked almonds
  • About four 9chopped into small dice) dried apricots or 50g/2 oz/¼ cup dried sour cherries/raisins
  • 1 teasp cinnamon
  • 120ml/½ cup water
  • 1 cube chicken stock
  • 120ml/ ½ cup martini bianco – that’s the sweet type
  • 1 small red onion  – finely chopped
  • Olive oil to fry – about a tbsp
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • smoked salt and and Indonesian long pepper
  • Egg or milk to glaze
  • Left over cheese
  • Green beans 
  • Prosciutto


  1. Pre heat oven to 180°C
  2. Poach the chicken in a frying pan in the stock, turning after three minutes, for six minutes. Make sure it’s cooked through, remove the breasts, reserve the stock
  3. Fry the onion until translucent in the olive oil – add the flour – mix and cook for just over a minute
  4. Add the stock from the frying pan, stir will to avoid lumps
  5. Add the martini
  6. Keep stirring – add the cinnamon and smoked salt and Indonesian black pepper
  7. Chop the chicken and add.
  8. Add the nuts and dried fruit 
  9. Put into pie dish, put in pie bird or egg cup
  10. Drape over pastry
  11. If any pastry left mix with a little grated cheese to make letters
  12. Glaze pastry
  13. Bake about 30 mins until golden
  14. Meanwhile cook beans, refresh, mix with small strips of prosciutto and a little olive oil and salt  and pepper and cook as described here, substituting the bacon for pancetta.


Featured photograph at the top © Astratelli 2014. By kind permission.