Turkish Chicken And Rice Pie (Perde Pilavı, or veiled pilaf)

Turkish Chicken And Rice Pie Perde Pilavı, or veiled pilaf
45 minutes
2 hours
2 hours 45 mins


1 whole chicken
2 fresh bay leaves
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 sticks celery, peeled and chopped
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 whole black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

50g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
200g long-grain white rice, washed
40g blanched almonds
3 sheets filo pastry

Egg wash
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter


Put the chicken in a large saucepan or casserole dish with the bay leaves, carrot, onion, celery, parsley, peppercorns and cloves. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 1–1 1/2 hours until cooked through. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool for 30 minutes in the pan.

Transfer the cooled chicken to a chopping board. Peel off and discard the skin, remove all the meat and shred it into a large bowl. Strain the chicken stock, discarding the vegetables, and set aside 500ml of it in a measuring jug. Freeze any remaining stock to use another time.

For the pilaf, heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions and mint for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the rice and almonds and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the reserved chicken stock and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid. Leave it to cool for 5–10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Add the shredded chicken to the cooled pilaf and mix well.

For the egg wash, whisk the egg and butter together in a small bowl.

Place the filo sheets on a flat surface, cut them in half and cover with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out. Place a piece of filo inside each greased dariole mould, pushing it into the sides and leaving the excess filo hanging over the edges. Spoon the pilaf into each lined mould, pressing it in tightly. Fold the excess filo over the top and brush it with the egg wash.

Place the moulds in a roasting tin and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before carefully inverting the moulds onto plates to reveal the ‘veiled pilafs’. Serve warm.



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