Leek, Fennel & Chicken in Spelt Phyllo Crust

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min
Serves: 8

This open-faced tart is a delicious, nutritious take on quiche. The bold flavours of fennel and goat cheese contrast beautifully with the tender, flaky phyllo crust. This recipe is equally delicious served hot or cold, and leftovers make a wonderful lunch the following day. Spelt is a tasty grain with a slightly nutty flavour, and this recipe is a great way to try it out.


1/2 lb (0.3 kg) bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) red onion(s), diced
3/4 lb (0.4 kg) fennel bulb, sliced, with frond
3 cups (750 mL) leek(s), light green and white part, sliced
2 tbsp (30 mL) thyme, fresh, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) black pepper
4 egg(s), medium
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream, light
1.5 oz (30 g) goat cheese
2 tbsp (30 mL) whole wheat flour
8 sheets spelt phyllo dough
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) paprika
2 tbsp (30 mL) thyme, sprigs


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2 Place chicken in non-stick pan. Cover chicken with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and poach over medium low heat until chicken is fully cooked and it reaches an internal temperature of 165° (74°C). Remove from heat and cool.
3 Dice chicken into 1 inch pieces (2.5 cm).
4 Heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil over medium high-heat in a non-stick pan. Sauté red onion, fennel, leek, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside and let cool.
5 Puree eggs with sour cream, goat cheese and flour in a food processor and until smooth.
6 To assemble, brush bottom of pie plate with olive oil. As you place each phyllo sheet brush it with olive oil. You want to stagger the sheets so that each sheet has an end that sticks out over the edge of the pie plate. The oil heats and expands during baking helping the phyllo to be crispier but don't overdo it as you don't want the pie to be greasy. Fold the part that is sticking out around the edge under to create a rim. Phyllo is very forgiving and looks better baked.
7 Scatter onion and sautéed vegetable mixture over pastry base followed by egg mixture. Garnish top with sprigs of fresh thyme and a sprinkle of paprika.
8 Bake pie in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until top is lightly browned and filling is set. Let cool slightly before cutting.