When we used to go to a Moroccan restaurant in San Jose, Ca. this was my favorite course of the multi-course meal. The original version of this recipe was on Food Network. I tried to simplify the steps so it would easier for today's cooks...but the spirit of the original recipe remains the same. It is a little work to put together...but if you make it, you won't be disappointed and will wish you had made a larger dish of it. Cooking time reflects both range and oven cooking times combined. Posted for ZWT #6--2010
- 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 -6 chicken breasts, small chopped pieces (the Moroccans use squab)
- 1⁄4 cup parsley (finely chopped)
- 1⁄8 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch saffron (optional spice)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 pinch clove
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 6 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
- 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
- 1⁄4 lb butter, melted
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup almonds (roasted and crushed )
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
- Heat olive oil in pan, then add onions, chicken pieces, parsley, cilantro, black pepper, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and salt.
- Stir well and add the 2 cups of water.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from pan and set aside.
- Allow the sauce to cool slightly then add the beaten eggs to the sauce in the pan.
- Cook the eggs with the sauce stirring continually so eggs won't stick.
- When eggs are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and drain the eggs well in a colander.
- Set he eggs aside to cool.
- Open the phyllo and cover with a damp towel so it will not dry out.
- Take an 8-10 inch round baking pan/dish and cover generously with butter.
- Very gently, spread 5 sheets of phyllo dough alternately criss-cross over the pan, leaving some phyllo dough draped around the edges of the pan.
- Add another sheet of phyllo crunched in the middle of the pan.
- Mix together the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon & 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl.
- Pour some of the cinnamon sugar all around the phyllo.
- Then, add 1/2 of the roasted crushed almonds.
- Cover with 3 more layers of phyllo and pour on 1/2 of the eggs with half of the chicken.
- Cover again with 3 layers of phyllo and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar and almonds.
- Cover with 3 layers of phyllo and pour on the rest of the eggs and the chicken.
- Cover with 2 layers of crunched phyllo and close the draping edges very gently like a rose, without pushing, it needs to be very fluffy.
- Pour the melted butter over the phyllo and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Turn the pan upside down onto a large platter. Mix together remaining cinnamon and sugar.
- Garnish with powdered sugar and make a design with the mixture of cinnamon and sugar if desired.
- Serve hot.