1 hr 45 mins
In Morocco, this dish is known as Pastilla and is traditionally made with pigeon meat but chicken works equally well. The flaky layers of pastry, tender meat and sugar-cinnamon topping make a delightful combination. If you want to make this for a dinner party, just prepare it ahead of time, then freeze until a few hours before you need to serve it.
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- 12 -15 sheets phyllo dough
- salt and pepper
- 3 lbs chicken pieces
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup vegetable oil or 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch saffron, in
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 cups water (or more)
- 12 ounces blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 eggs, beaten
- icing sugar (to garnish)
- cinnamon (to garnish)
- 1About 2 hours before starting, remove the phyllo from the freezer but keep tightly covered.
- 2Salt and pepper the chicken.
- 3Brown in its own juices in a heavy skillet.
- 4Remove to a plate.
- 5Add the onions and parsley to the skillet.
- 6Sauté in 2 tbsp vegetable oil or margarine until golden, stirring frequently.
- 7Return chicken to the skillet and add coriander, turmeric, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, saffron in water, allspice, and 2 cups water or more if you think it is needed.
- 8Bring to a slow boil.
- 9Cover and simmer about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is done.
- 10Meanwhile, sauté the almonds in 4 tbsp oil until brown.
- 11Remove to dry on paper towels.
- 12When cool and dry, chop coarsely and combine with the sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
- 13If you are going to cook the pastilla immediately, preheat oven to 375°F.
- 14When chicken is done, remove from pot and let cool.
- 15If you wish, skim off some of the fat from the sauce and leave sauce over small flame to reduce the stock to about 1 1/2 cups.
- 16When the chicken is cool, debone it and, using your fingers, break it into small chunks, about 1/4 inch each.
- 17Place on a plate.
- 18When the sauce is reduced, slowly add the beaten eggs and stir for a minute or two until eggs become custard like.
- 19Do not let the sauce become too dry.
- 20You can assemble the pie several ways, using either a round quiche pan or a 9x13-inch dish.
- 21Brush oil on the bottom of either pan you use.
- 22For the rectangular method, place 1 phyllo sheet in the pan and brush with oil.
- 23Repeat with 5 more sheets.
- 24Over them, spread 1/2 the nuts, 1/2 the egg mixture, all the chicken the remaining egg mixture, and the remaining nuts.
- 25Cover with 5-6 sheets of phyllo, again brushing with oil each time.
- 26Fold over any loose ends and brush the tops with oil.
- 27Take a last leaf of phyllo, fold under so that it neatly covers the pie, and brush with oil. (You can also layer the phyllo between the different foods).
- 28For the circular method, place one sheet of phyllo in the middle of the quiche pan.
- 29Brush with oil and then repeat with 5 more phyllo sheets, moving the pan a bit so that the phyllo fans the entire pan.
- 30Fold 2 pieces of phyllo and place in center.
- 31In a circle 9 inches in diameter, sprinkle 1/2 the almonds on top, then 1/2 the egg mixture, all the chicken, the remaining egg mixture and finally the remaining almonds.
- 32Cover with the extended edges of the 6 phyllo sheets, brushing the edges first.
- 33Seal down, then place 2 more sheets of phyllo on top.
- 34Fold over and seal underneath, so that an enclosed circular crust is formed.
- 35Bake the pie 30-45 minutes, until top is evenly browned.
- 36When ready to serve, sprinkle the top with confectioners' sugar and cinnamon, almonds, or both, in crisscross fashion over the entire pastilla.
- 37If preparing in advance, make up the pie, then layer with aluminum foil and freeze.
- 38Remove a few hours before cooking and cook as normal.
- 39You may need to bake it a bit longer.
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Nutritional Facts for Savoury Moroccan Pie
Serving Size: 1 (518 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 1831.8
- Calories from Fat 1303
- Total Fat 144.8 g
- Saturated Fat 23.4 g
- Cholesterol 578.2 mg
- Sodium 591.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 64.5 g
- Dietary Fiber 12.1 g
- Sugars 15.2 g
- Protein 75.7 g