BSTILA (MOROCCAN CHICKEN/NUT PIE)

 

  • Cooking Time:
  • Servings:
  • Preparation Time:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb blanched almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Honey/Sugar
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 minced medium onion
  • 1/2 chicken
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch saffron(or 1/2 tsp turmeric)1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced coriander (cilantro, chinese parsley)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • phillo sheets
  • melted butter (at least 1/4 lb)
  • SPICES:
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • (or 1/2 tsp turmeric)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced coriander (cilantro, chinese parsley)
  • salt to taste

Directions

  • Brown 1/2 lb blanched almonds in a little oil until golden. chop coarsely or pound with a mortar and pestle.
  • add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and (optionally) honey or sugar to sweeten to taste (anc adds none but cites recipes calling for up to 1/2c sugar-i favor a little honey as the contrast of the sweetness with the savory chicken is part of the exotic appeal of the dish).
  • Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp clarified butter and 1/3 cup butter in a large heavy pot.
  • add 1 minced medium onion and saute for a few minutes.
  • add chicken meat equivalent to about 1/2 chicken (e.g. two boneless breasts), cut in small pieces (as for a pot pie), along with SPICES.
  • Simmer until the chicken is done.
  • beat 2 eggs and slowly stir them into the sauce. remove from heat.
  • Have ready phillo sheets, melted butter (at least 1/4 lb), and a pastry brush.
  • select a shallow baking pan about 8" in diameter, such as an iron skillet.
  • what you basically want to do is construct a pie by layering the phillo sheets in the pan and then folding them over the contents; it will probably be easiest if you cut the sheets in half or smaller, for instance into long rectangles about the width of the pan and twice as long.
  • brush one of the sheets with melted butter, and put it, butter side up, in the bottom of the pan, the excess dangling over the side.
  • add another sheet, at an angle to the first, and repeat so that you have phillo covering the bottom of the pan and dangling out all around (this is hard to describe).
  • use about 5 sheets to form this layer.
  • repeat the process, forming another layer.
  • now pour the chicken and sauce into the pan.
  • put several more buttered sheets on top of the chicken, this time not overlapping the edge-use smaller pieces or fold them in half.
  • spread the nut mixture on top of this.
  • put another layer or so of phillo, then fold the dangling ends over the top so as to close the envelope. (your mileage may vary on the number and details of layering the sheets).
  • brush the top with butter. at this point the bstila can be refrigerated if desired (this is time-consuming and you may wish to do all this the day before serving).
  • Just before serving, put the pan in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden: flip it onto an oven-proof plate (or use an ordinary plate to flip it over back into the skillet) and return to brown the other side, 30-40 minutes total.
  • place on a serving platter, sprinkle with powdered sugar, then make fanciful decorative designs with ground cinnamon. (when i had this in a restaurant it said something like "eat me").

Notes

Categories: African  Main Dish  Misc. Soup/Stew  Nuts  Oven  Poultry  Stove 
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