Here's an oldie but a goodie – this has been a Biuso family favourite for years and it still receives accolades.
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
600g (1 lb 3 oz) boned and skinned chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
250ml (1 cup) cream
½ cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp thyme or tarragon leaves
12 sheets filo pastry
2 Tbsp untoasted sesame seeds
1 Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Put half the crumbs in a shallow dish and toast for several minutes until golden. Crush with a rolling pin and set aside.
2 Put onion in a large heavy-based frying pan (skillet) with 1½ tablespoon of butter and cook over a gentle heat until softened and starting to turn golden. Transfer onion to a bowl. Cut chicken breasts into smallish cubes, cutting across the grain. Increase heat under pan. If pan is dry add a little butter, then add chicken pieces and cook quickly for 5 minutes, turning once or twice. Transfer to the bowl with the onion. Season with ¾ teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.
3 Add cream to the pan, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to lift any sediment, then add mustard and thyme. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, until reduced by half. Return chicken to the pan with any juices, bubble op, then turn off the heat and leave until cool. Mix in the untoasted crumbs.
4 Melt the rest of the butter. Lay first sheet of filo pastry on a baking tray (sheet) lined with baking (parchment) paper and brush lightly with butter. Scatter over some of the toasted breadcrumbs. Lay a second filo sheet on top, brush with butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Continue in this way until all the sheets of pastry are stacked up, but butter the top sheet only around the edges.
5 Place pastry with the long side parallel to the bench, then put chicken mixture in a line along closest edge, 4cm (1½“) in from sides. Fold sides of pastry in by about 3cm (a good inch), then roll pastry up like a Swiss roll, ending with the edges of pastry underneath to stop it unrolling.
6 Brush with a little more butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is a good golden brown. Remove chicken filo from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before sliding it on to a board and cutting into slices. Serve with a crisp green salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.