CHICKEN FROM BASKET TO PARCEL

March 3, 2016 BY

Ah… the Kit Kat Restaurant. Do you remember this food haven from the 70s?

It was situated on the corner of Little Malop Street and McCann Street, which if you recall the Kit Kat you’ll recall that McCann Street was the main drag for cruising by in your parent’s car on a circuit encompassing Yarra and Malop streets.

All innocent fun and seemingly so demure compared to the hijinks of some youth today?

I thought it just so special to dine at the Kit Kat for Sunday lunch and thought the chicken in a basket was extremely exotic!

These were the days before any fast food fried chicken outlets mind you.

Crumbed chicken drumsticks were served in one of those dinky woven baskets, lined with a paper serviette.

It must have been the whole deal of eating without a knife and fork that also appealed to me as a freckle-faced 10year-old.

I’d like to share with you a really yummy chicken in a parcel recipe – it’s not quite a pastie, not really a borek, gozleme or a tyropita.

Perfect for a casual lunch or picnic, it’s made using a spicy filling wrapped in filo pastry.

Filo is one type of pastry I’ve not tried making from scratch – but have seen it made – and it is an art form on its own requiring much skill! The dough is rolled and stretched to almost transparent thinness using the whole surface of the kitchen table and a long piece of wooden dowel!

Filo, meaning “leaf” probably came from the exotic kitchens of an Ottoman palace and records indicate its use way back in the 11th century.

Commercial machines were designed in the 1970s and therefore it is readily available in the supermarket.

A similar pastry is “yufka”, which is slightly more robust than filo.

Confusingly yufka is the name of a flatbread as well.

For the filling, I used two chicken marylands, being on the bone the meat has more flavour.

The chicken is spiced up with paprika, cumin, ginger and garlic.

When using filo, you need to work swiftly as the leaves of pastry dry out.

Something that has such “exotic” origins probably deserves to be named Yufkali Tavuk – sounds much better than chicken in a parcel don’t you think?