A borek is a type of baked or fried filled pastries made of phyllo dough which can be filled with cheese, meat, vegetables or a combination of the three. Boreks are most commonly enjoyed throughout Turkey and this recipe is of a Turkish-inspired chicken borek filled with couscous, mushrooms, walnuts and topped with a tangy mint and chili powder sauce. Are you licking your lips, yet?
For the filling, you'll need:
1/2 cup of couscous (I used sundried tomato and garlic couscous)
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 2/3 cup of mushrooms
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 ounces cooked chicken, diced
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped or pieces
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped or 2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 eggs, hard boiled
salt and black pepper
For the pastry:
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup natural yogurt
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
For the sauce:
1 cup natural yogurt
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp dried mint
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
a little water or milk if necessary
Preheat the oven to 375 (F). Prepare the couscous by covering it in a bowl with boiling water until all the liquid is absorbed. Boil two of the eggs.
Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onion. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the juices begin to run. Increase the heat to boil off the juices.
Transfer the mushroom and onion mixture to a mixing bowl, add the chicken, walnuts, parsley, thyme and couscous. Stir well. Chop the eggs rougly and stir them into the mixture with seasoning to taste.
To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center, add the egg, yogurt, olive oil and lemon juice and mix together with a round-bladed knife or cut in using a food processor.
Turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a 12 in circle. Put the rolled dough onto a cookie sheet, pile in the filling in the center and bring the edges over to enclose it. Place another baking sheet on top of it, turn over and remove the first baking sheet. The dough folds should now be beneath the borek. Lightly press the borek to slightly flatten it then glaze with a beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes.
Make the sauce by blending together all the sauce ingredients and adding milk or water if the mixture is too thick.
This recipe is my adaptation from the Chicken Borek recipe featured in The Every Day Chicken Cookbook.