Chicken, Chorizo & Swiss Chard Phyllo Bundles with an Avocado and Tomato Salsa

A lovely light dinner or exciting first course, these crispy bundles really deliver on taste and texture.

If serving these as a first course, divide the filling into 6 and use one sheet of pastry per person for 6 bundles, using unchanged quantities of everything else.

If you haven’t got any cooked chicken to hand, one raw chicken breast, diced, will work; see tip below for how to adjust the recipe.

Feeds 4

Ingredients

For the bundles:

75g chorizo, cut into 1cm dice

Olive oil

1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems diced and leaves left whole

1 medium onion, cut into small dice

Salt and pepper

1 large clove of garlic, minced

2 tbsp Marsala wine

1 + 1/2 cups cold cooked chicken, diced

4 sheets phyllo pastry

For the salsa:

4 medium tomatoes, diced

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stems discarded

2 large ripe avocados, diced

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 tsp olive oil

Pinch salt and pepper

Method:

To make the filling, heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan and add the diced chorizo. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo has crisped and let off its fat. Remove the chorizo to a plate and set aside for a moment.

Tip: If using a raw chicken breast, this is the time to cook the chicken. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to the chorizo-oiled pan with a little extra olive oil, if needed. Cook until the chicken has browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken pieces and add to the waiting chorizo bowl. Add a little more olive oil to the pan if needed, before proceeding to the next step.

To the paprika-infused fat in the pan, add the diced onion and swiss chard stems with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute or two, then pour in the Marsala and let it reduce. Return the chorizo to the pan and add the diced cooked chicken with a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat off and leave to cool.

Boil the swiss chard leaves in a small pot of salted, boiling water for 4 – 5 minutes. Drain, refresh with cold water, then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop up the leaves and add to the filling.

Make ahead: Prepared filling can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before assembling.

When you’re ready to assemble the bundles, preheat the oven to 400F / 200C / 190C Fan. Use your hands to smear a little olive oil over a baking tray and set to one side.

To assemble each bundle, start by laying out one sheet of phyllo pastry. Drizzle over a little olive oil (you don’t need much) and use your hands to smear it all over the top of the pastry. Fold the sheet in half, width-wise, so you have a rough square (as opposed to folding lengthwise and ending up with a long, thin rectangle). Add 1/4 of the filling to the centre and bring up the edges of the pastry, pinching together at the top with a slight twist. (Don’t worry about any cracks or splits – it really doesn’t matter.) Transfer to the waiting baking tray and carry on with the remaining pastry and filling.

Tip: Phyllo pastry can be delicate when it dries out, so keep any unused sheets under a damp tea towel until you’re ready to assemble. Bake straightaway after assembling the bundles, otherwise they may crack.

Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the tops are golden and the pastry is nice and crisp.

While the bundles are baking, make the salsa.

To make the salsa, add the tomato, red onion, most of the picked coriander leaves, avocado, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper to a bowl. Use your hands to gently toss to combine.

To serve, transfer a crisp bundle to a waiting plate, then pile up some salsa on the side. Pick over a few extra coriander leaves for garnish, and serve.

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