Measure seasonings into a small bowl and stir to blend. Add onions. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Spread chicken over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the onion seasonings mixture. Add ¼ cup (60 mL) water. Cook over medium-low heat, constantly working with a fork to keep separated. You do not want it to clump or toughen. Cook until no pink in chicken remains, about 5 minutes. Turn into a bowl including juices. Stir in lemon peel if using. Refrigerate until cooled to room temperature or cover and refrigerate up to a day.
To bake tarts, preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). If chicken mixture is cold, bring to room temperature. Break up any clumps with your fingers. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with sour cream. Stir in chicken mixture.
Lightly butter 24 tart cups, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. Melt butter. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on work surface and cover the remaining with a damp tea towel. Lightly brush the sheet of phyllo with butter. Spreading with a finger can be helpful. Top with another phyllo sheet matching corners. Brush with more butter. Repeat with 2 more sheets, brushing both. Cut into 4 inch (10 cm) squares.
Pick up one square and gently press into one tart cup, forming a shell with phyllo points sitting above the muffin tin. Slightly separate these points to ruffle edges. Repeat with remaining squares. Spoon in chicken filling, about 3 tablespoons (45 mL) into each shell. Gently press down any chicken pieces sticking above the surface. Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven until phyllo is golden and filling set in centre when jiggled, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the second batch of tarts for baking.
When tarts are baked, remove tin to a rack to cool. Place the second tin of tarts in the oven and bake. After tarts have cooled 5 minutes, remove from tins and place on a rack.
Serve right away or at room temperature sprinkled with chopped pistachios or fresh coriander or mint. They will keep well in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least a day or in the freezer for a month.
EVEN EASIER: Spread 24 frozen tart shells out on baking sheets. Spoon chicken mixture into shells, adding about 3 tablespoons (45 mL) to each. Gently press down any pieces sticking above the surface. Bake in the middle of 375°F (190°C) oven until tarts seem set in the center when jiggled, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, before removing from their foil containers. Serve right away or at room temperature. Refrigerate if leaving more than 2 hours. They also freeze well.
- Serves: 24
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 1 lb (0.5 kg) ground chicken
- 1 tsp (5 mL) each ground cumin and paprika
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) each cinnamon, turmeric and salt
- 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) each cayenne and allspice
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
- freshly grated peel of 1 lemon (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream (not no-fat)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
- 8 phyllo sheets
- chopped salted pistachios or fresh coriander or mint for garnish