Saturday, July 5, 2014

Nabila's Special Occasion Chicken Bastilla

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bastilla: Moroccan sweet and savory chicken pie

You want something magnificent? Try this bastilla. I've asked Nabila to make it at least 6 times, but never had the time to write down the recipe. The solution? Have the houseguests do it for you! Lissa & Natasha are a mother and daughter who are staying at Dar Al Hajj for a week and a half during the beginning of Ramadan, and we agreed to have the bastilla for ftour, although they are not fasting, but I am. So, thanks for agreeing to delay your meal...bastilla, with its overlay of powdered sugar and cinnamon over a filo-encrusted chicken with eggs and almonds, is supposed to be a dinner for special occasions, but I think that the bastilla itself is the special occasion.

  • 1 medium chicken (2 kg)--cut up and wash. Remove extra fat. Let marinate overnight in 1 lemon + 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 onions, chopped
  • parsley and cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c. water

Boil the chicken and all the other ingredients for 45 minutes. Add a large cup of water after 20 minutes, to thin the sauce, and cook until soft--about 25 minutes longer. (If you are using a pressure cooker, bring to boil loosely covered, simmer 10 minutes, pressurize on setting 2 and cook for 1/2 hour)

  • granulated sugar
  • 10 eggs
  • filo dough (waraqa)
  • 1/4 kg almonds (luz)
  • sunflower oil

While chicken is cooking, prepare the Almond paste: 
Boil 250 g almonds to loosen skins, then remove skins
Fry in sunflower oil (start in cold oil)
Blend to paste in blender with 1 T sugar.

De-pressurize the chicken and remove the lid:

Take chicken out of pot and continue boiling the sauce until thick and brown, until there is no water remaining.

Add 3 T sugar to reduced sauce, + 1/2 t cinnamon

Add 10 eggs to sauce. mix while cooking on medium. Stir constantly, until it starts to separate and create dry "balls".

Add another 2 1/2 T sugar and stir while cooking.

Drain through a collander to roue and drain.

Take chicken off bones and shred. Dust with cinnamon & sugar and mix.

Place 4 layer of filo dough on a large greased tray

Spread egg sauce in middle of the filo dough.

Spread chicken in a circular layer.

Sprinkle almond paste over the top.

Baste exterior of "paper" with beaten egg (1), while closing in parcel by tucking the ends under.

Place one sheet over and tuck under, baste with egg. Repeat with two more sheets and baste with egg.

Place in over at 180 degree celsius (about 360 Fahrenheit) till brown on top, turn over and brown (about 20 minutes)

Hadith... It was narrated from Jabir bin ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “The food of one person is sufficient for two, the food of two is sufficient for four, and the food for four is sufficient for eight.” ...