B’stila (moroccan Chicken/nut Pie)

  • on October 26, 2009
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Ingrients & Directions

1/2 lb Almond, blanched
1/2 ts Cinnamon
Honey; to taste (opt)
1 tb Ghi
1/3 c Butter
1 md Onion; minced
1/2 Chicken; boned & cubed small
1/2 ts Pepper
1 pn Saffron
1/2 ts Cinnamon
3/4 c Parsley; minced
1/4 c Coriander; minced
Salt; to taste
2 Egg
1 pk Filo sheets
1/4 lb Butter; melted

Brown almonds in a little oil until golden. Chop coarsely or pound
with a mortar and pestle. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and (optionally)
honey or sugar to sweeten to taste (ANC adds none but cites recipes
calling for up to 1/2 cup 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 ghi and butter in a large heavy pot. Add minced onion and saut?
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 pepper, saffron, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, parsley,
coriander, and salt to taste.

Simmer until the chicken is done. Beat two eggs and slowly stir them
into the sauce. remove from heat.

Have ready filo 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 filo 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 filo 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 filo, 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 b’stila 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.”)

from the rec.food.recipes archives

6 Servings

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