A pie is convenient for family life as it can be prepared ahead and simply reheated when required. This deliciously flavoured, crispy pie goes best with a mixed green salad instead of vegetables. The unusual combination of spinach and orange marmalade works especially well, and the filo pastry makes the pie look like a rich, golden pile of curling autumn leaves, so it always causes a sensation.
Boneless chicken thighs are more succulent than breast meat and are available in all supermarkets.
Wash the spinach well and remove the stalks. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and plunge in the spinach leaves for just a minute, until limp. Drain well, pressing out all the liquid you can, then chop up small. Cut up the chicken into small pieces, removing any skin. Peel the garlic and chop finely. Peel the onions and chop into fairly small pieces.
Heat the oil and
Cook the pie in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is well browned. Then put the tin on a narrower, round object (such as a tin of tomatoes) and push the pie up and out of the tin. Using a wide spatula, lever it carefully off the base on to an ovenproof serving plate and put it back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes to brown the sides and crisp up the base.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.