Bisteeya Moroccan Chicken Pie
Bisteeya Moroccan chicken pie is the centerpiece of Moroccan cuisine. Although this dish is usually made by using squab, we will be using chicken instead. This meal can feed up to 4 people.
- 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, be sure to use extra for brushing.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3 chicken quarters, preferably breast
- 1 1/2 Spanish onions either grated or finely chopped
- A pinch of ground ginger
- A pinch of saffron strands
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, use extra for dusting
- 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
- 1 large bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 large bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 3 beaten eggs
- 6 ounces of phyllo pastry
- 1-2 teaspoons of confectioners’ sugar, use extra for dusting
- salt and ground black pepper
How To Prepare:
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and brown the chicken pieces for about 4 minutes. Add the onions, ginger, saffron, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and enough water so the chicken braises, rather than boils ( about 1 1/4 cups). Season well.
- Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes over low heat, until the chicken is tender and completely cooked. Meanwhile, dry-fry the almonds until golden and set aside.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and, when cool enough to handle. remove the skin and bones and cut the flesh into pieces.
- Stir the cilantro and parsley into the pan and simmer the sauce until well-reduced and thick. Add the beaten eggs and cook over low heat until the eggs are lightly scrambled.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Oil a round shallow flameproof dish, about 10 inches in diameter. Place one or two sheets of phyllo pastry in a single layer over the bottom of the dish, so that it is completely covered and the edges of the pastry sheets hang over the sides. Brush lightly with oil and add two more layers of phyllo, brushing each layer lightly with oil.
- Place the chicken on the pastry and then spoon the egg and herb mixture on top.
- Place a single layer of phyllo pastry on top of the filling. You may need to use more than one sheet of phyllo pastry! Sprinkle with the almonds. Sift the remaining cinnamon and the confectioners’ sugar, if using on top.
- Fold the edges of the phyllo over the almonds and then make four more layers of phyllo (using one or two sheets per layer and depending on size), brushing each layer with a little oil. Tuck the phyllo edges under the pie as if you were making your bed. Brush the top layer with oil.
- Bake the Bisteeya Moroccan chicken pie for 40-45 minutes, until golden. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar, if using, and use the extra cinnamon to make criss-cross or diagonal lines. Serve immediately.