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Marg CDN

Oh yes. Sorry. What a mess. Here it is

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3964 posts
Joined: Dec 10, 2005


Posted to Thread #7708 at 4:04 pm on Aug 28, 2007


This is a time-consuming recipe, but absolutely worth the time. It is just delicious & so unique. Each time I made it, the flavours were consistently outstanding. My notes indicate that I skinned the chicken before I cooked it. I am guessing that was because of the fat that was imparted to the sauce'. I haven't made it for about a year & now am anxious to do so again. The word "pastilla" is, I guess, the Egyptian reference to this type of pie, but the names are very similar around the southern Mediterranean. I have another book that calls it "b'stilla". & another: bastilla. Middle Eastern Cooking - Suzy Benghiat

2 T. oil
1 1/2 lb. onions
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper
6-8 strands saffron (or 1 t. turmeric)
1 1/2 t. ground ginger
4 t. ground cinnamon (I use only 2 t. here)
1 medium chicken, about 3 lb.
1 1/4 c. very finely chopped parsley (1 large bunch)
1 2/3 c. peeled almonds
2-3 T. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon (I use scant 1 1/2 T.)
juice of 1/2 lemon
7-8 large eggs
2 T. (1/4 stick) butter
1 lb. package filo
1 egg beaten

To Serve:
3-4 t. confectioner's sugar 3-4 t. ground cinnamon

1. Choose a casserole to hold the chicken & onions, no more than 1/2 full. Pour in oil too 1" depth & set over medium heat. Grate onion & add, stirring from time to time. Thinly slice garlic & add with the salt pepper, saffron, ginger & 1 t. cinnamon. Cut up chicken & add...(my note: no skin). Raise the heat a bit & cook for about 1 hour, turning the pieces occasionally.

2. Add the parsley. Cook for another 30 minutes or until meat falls easily from the bone.

3. Dry roast the almonds, grind them roughly & mix with sugar & the rest of the cinnamon. Set aside.

4. When chicken is cooked, remove with slotted spoon & set aside to cool. Strain the contents fo the pan through a double layer of cheesecloth into a bowl. Reserve the liquid & return the parsley & onions to the pan. Add the lemon juice, & 6 or 7 eggs. Stir gently until they being to set. The whole mixture should have the texture of a puree. Set aside while you skin (if you did not before) & bone the chicken & cut into bite-sized pieces.

5. (My note: allow 45 minutes from this point) Melt butter & use some to grease your largest roasting pan. Put a piece of filo pastry lengthwise in the center, moisten lightly all over with fingers dipped in reserved chicken stock, & set a second sheet of filo the same size on top. Moisten each sheet. Arrange more sheets radiating outwards like petals of a flower, with the inner end of each resting on the first 2 sheets & the outer end hanging over the edge of the pan. Overlap sheets until they are about 4 layers thick in all.

6. Pile the chicken pieces onto the filo in a tidy rectangle the same size as the first 2 sheets. Spread the parsley mixture on top. Cover with one sheet of filo. One by one, lift up the outer ends of the top layer of the overlapping filo sheets, fold each one over the rectangle & stick each one lightly in place by moistening with your fingers dipped into the beaten egg. Take car to keep the rectangle compact.

7. Add most of the rest of the melted butter to the almond mixture & check the balance of flavours: the almond, cinnamon & sugar should be distinct, without overwhelming each other. Correct the proportions if necessary. Spread this mixture on top of the now nearly completed pi & smooth it gently with your fingers. Place 2 more layers of filo on top, lengthwise, exactly like the first 2. Fold over & stick down the remaining outer sheets. Check that the filling is evenly crosswise over it & tuck underneath.

8. Preheat oven to 350. 9. Brush the pastilla with remaining melted butter & bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool a little, then decorate with alternating trails of confectioner's sugar & cinnamon.

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