Chicken Bastilla

"A traditional Moroccan dish generally served as an appetizer or first course. Exotic, delicious blend of flavors. Source: Hilaire Walden, The Moroccan Collection"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • Put the chicken in a saucepan with the onion, ginger, saffron, cilantro, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and the parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add enough water to barely cover the chicken and simmer gently, covered, for 45 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Boil the cooking juices until they are reduced to a thick, dryish sauce.
  • Set aside.
  • When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and take the meat off the bones.
  • Coarsely chop the meat.
  • Beat the eggs and butter with half the reduced cooking juices and cook, stirring constantly, until the eggs are scrambled.
  • Set aside.
  • Toast the almonds in a dry, heavy frying pan, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.
  • Add the remaining cinnamon and sugar.
  • On a baking sheet, use the phyllo pastry (overlapping sheets) to make a square three layers thick and 18 inches across.
  • Spread the remaining cooking juices in a 7-inch circle in the center of the pastry.
  • Cover with the egg mixture, and top with chicken and almonds.
  • Fold the sides of the pastry up and over the filling to completely enclose the filling.
  • If necessary, patch any gaps with more pastry, always brushing with oil.
  • Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
  • To serve, lightly dust confectioner's sugar andground cinnamon over the top.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. What a fun recipe to work with. I really didn't think the sauce would thicken, but it sure did. We thought the mixture was a little dry in the end so we added some honey and wowsers was it wonderful. We are going to add it to the mix next time before we back it. It had a wonderful baklava taste to it. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
  2. I thought mine turned out alittle dry and was rather average for me. Used only dark meat (boneless chicken thighs) for easy shredding later, upped the amt of cinnamon powder, reduced the egg component and still found it abit too "eggy" for me. Thought the egg taste overpowered the shredded chicken.The almond crunchy bits was a nice touch (couldnt help munching on it after dry frying them with 1 tbsp of sugar and cinnamon) but it somehow still didnt quite taste like the bastillas I had in Marrakesh. Still dreaming and craving for that heavenly pastry... Too bad it's pretty hard to find a good restaurant serving bastilla in this part of Asia. Was pretty fun putting the recipe together though.
  3. Great, horizon-broadening recipe for me. I have never encountered this before so when I was putting it together I didn't really know what I was aiming for. I did not use all of my chicken in this...I put the rest in some remaining phyllo with some steamed broccoli and feta. As suggested here, I maximized the dark meat. This was my first time attempting anything with a whole chicken. I removed the skin and any fat I could see before starting, and I also removed the yolks from 2 of my eggs to lighten it up a bit. The reduced sauce was wonderful. It took awhile, and at times I thought that it wouldn't go down, but it did and it was a great flavor. I unfortunately did not have saffron, which would have been nice, but this was still a great recipe. I made the components the day before, then assembled about 6 hours before baking, and everything was just fine (under some plastic wrap to keep things moist). I also scored the top of my phyllo into the portion sizes I planned to have so that it would be easier to cut once cooked. Thank you for sharing this interesting recipe!
  4. Superb, sublime. It's just as I remembered it from when I was younger. It takes more time if you do a proper prep, but it's wonderful.
  5. I made this for a party with a few modifications: I made the chicken (4 thighs only) and reduced the sauce the day before and kept it refrigerated overnight. Instead of one large phyllo package I made three rolls (burrito or eggroll style) using one 3-4 layered sheet of phyllo, and I only ended up using about 2/3 of the egg mixture. I brushed the tops with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon mixed with powdered sugar and some ground almonds before baking. It was a big hit with the other bastilla fan at the party , but I think I would have prefered more cinnamon and possibly a bit higher chicken/egg ratio.


I'm a 32-year-old Web writer/editor with a passion for cooking good food. Currently I am (still)trying to find an uninterrupted weekend afternoon so that I can bake a loaf of bread from scratch! I am also a singer with a local (Washington DC-area) a cappella group... you can check us out at the web site above!
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes