I concocted this as a vehicle for leftover turkey but you can use cooked chicken if you have enough; in fact the pie is so good that it would be worth cooking some turkey or chicken meat from scratch. I first started using these flavourings after enjoying the delicate cuisine of Vietnam. Putting them in a filo pastry pie is very cross-cultural, of course, but it works well.
Remove any skin from the turkey meat, chop the flesh roughly and put it into a large mixing bowl. Break up the cinnamon stick and put it into an electric coffee grinder with the cardamom seeds extracted from their pods and the star anise. Grind finely. Cut open the chillies lengthways under running water and discard the seeds and stems. Peel the ginger and garlic. Chop the chillies, ginger and garlic together finely. Cut the base and top and any marked outer part off the lemon grass and then slice across very finely. Chop the lime leaves very finely. Put the coconut milk powder into a measuring jug with
Put a dry frying pan over a medium heat, add the ground spices and stir for half a minute. Add
Slice the spring onions at 5mm/¼in intervals, using as much of the green part as possible. Roughly chop the coriander leaves. Stir the spring onions and coriander leaves into the turkey mixture and season with salt.
Gently melt the remaining butter in a saucepan and then remove from the heat. Brush a large round or rectangular ovenproof dish with some of the butter and lay a sheet of filo pastry in the dish, leaving the edges hanging over the sides. Brush the filo pastry thinly with butter. Then lay on a second sheet, spoon in the turkey mixture and spread level. Fold the sides of the pastry in over the turkey filling. Lay another sheet of pastry on top and fold in. Brush with butter and continue with layers of pastry and butter until you have only one sheet of pastry left. Put this on top but crumple roughly instead of folding in the edges. Brush lightly with butter.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.