Moroccan Chicken Pie with Apricots and Almonds (B’Stilla): Moroccan Series, #5

Moroccan Chicken Pie with Apricots and Almonds

Moroccan Chicken Pie with Apricots and Almonds

I think that many cultures have a tradition of meat pies, or pastries filled with meat, but my new found favourite is this savory and sweet chicken phyllo pie from Morocco. I love the buttery crunch of the phyllo pastry and the way that Moroccans add sweetness to this dish by combining the meat with dried fruit such as apricots or raisins, and then dusting the top of the pie with icing sugar and cinnamon. The result is a rich, exotic dish with a surprising burst of sweetness when our taste buds meet the dried apricots and the dusting of sugar that tops the pie.

I recently took a couple of Moroccan cooking classes with Chef Glenys Morgan at my favourite kitchen store, Posh Pantry. I was so excited to finally learn how to make this pie and couldn’t wait to come home and recreate it in my kitchen. This recipe is deceptively simple to make and it becomes the showpiece of your dinner table. The night before, I made the chicken mixture, to just before the eggs and the herbs are added. When I came home from work the next day, I finished off the recipe and served it warm from the oven with a fresh, colourful salad. I made the pie in an 8 inch springform pan, but traditionally it is made free form. The cook just makes a pinwheel shape with the pastry and piles the chicken mixture in the middle and then folds the pastry around the meat to create a round pie. If you want to, you can also make individual pies as you would in Spanakopita. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful treat to find in your lunch or to take to a picnic?

This is Chef Glenys Morgan’s recipe. Thanks Glenys!

I am really excited to be bringing this pie over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday! I know they are going to enjoy it and I can’t wait to show off what I learned in class! Honestly there is nothing like taking a cooking class to get the creative juices flowing and to get you excited about cooking something new for your family, friends and blogging buddies at a wacky Friday night blog party! Bon appétit everyone!

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Moroccan Chicken Pie with Apricots and Almonds (B'Stilla)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 chicken thighs, skinless, bone in

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon saffron

½ cup chicken stock

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

¼ cup parsley, chopped

1 cup dried apricots, rehydrated in boiling water or orange juice

½ cup ground almonds, lightly toasted

2 tablespoons icing sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

4 – 6 sheets phyllo, cut in half lengthwise

clarified butter or unsalted butter, melted

Method:

 Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the chicken, onion and spices. Stir to brown lightly. Add the chicken stock and cover, simmering until tender.

Remove the chicken and reduce any excess liquid.

Remove the chicken from the bone and shred it.

Whisk the egg into the onion mixture and stir to cook slightly. Remove from heat and add the shredded chicken, cilantro and parsley. Mince the apricots and add to the mixture.

Using an 8 inch springform pan or 9 inch pie plate, lay 2 pieces of phyllo across each other to form a cross. Brush generously with butter. Continue adding sheets of pastry in a pinwheel shape until the circle is formed. Butter generously as each sheet of phyllo is added. (To stop the phyllo pastry from becoming brittle while you are working with it, keep it covered with a damp tea towel.)

Sprinkle ½ the almonds on the bottom of the pinwheel. Mound the chicken mixture in the centre and dust with the remaining almonds.

Begin to fold the phyllo sheets over the chicken mixture. Butter the layers and tuck in the phyllo sheets. Brush again.

Bake at 350° until golden brown. (about 35 minutes) If excess butter is draining onto the pan, blot with paper towels to prevent burning.

Cool 15 minutes. Place icing sugar and cinnamon in a mesh strainer and dust the top of the pie generously.

Cut into wedges and serve.

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79 Responses to “Moroccan Chicken Pie with Apricots and Almonds (B’Stilla): Moroccan Series, #5”

  1. Jhuls

    Looking at the ingredients, the pie sounds so savory and delicious!! You did a good job, Julianna! 😉 Thanks for bringing them for today’s Fiesta! Have a pleasant day! ❤

    Reply
  2. sabine

    Can´t stop imagining that 1001 nights´smell evaporating when you cut the pie! Love the flavors…. wonderful!

    Reply
  3. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs

    How fun!! I love taking classes!! This is truly a sweet meets savory kind of dish.. It sounds so interesting… And I know must have crazy bursts of flavor.. The kind that keep you going back for more. I love this! 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hi Prudy! Yes, I love taking cooking classes too – I have been learning so much. Yes, this dish has wonderful bursts of flavour and trust me, I went back for more… 😉

      Reply
  4. lapetitepaniere

    Julianna, with this amazing B’Stilla you remind me my summer vacation in Morocco. Your B’Stilla look perfect, beautiful combination of spices (saffron, cinnamon, ginger…) and the presentation is wonderful 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Thanks Linda. Oh, you are very lucky. I have long dreamed of going to Morocco, but haven’t made it there yet. Glad you like the presentation 🙂

      Reply
  5. Hilda

    Good timing. i was just thinking of making a chicken pie, but seeing your recipe makes what I had in mind seem pretty blah. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
  6. Ngan R.

    Wow, Julianna! You are right, this dish would definitely be the showpiece of any table. I can almost smell all those delicious aromas of spices and chicken and baking phyllo! I am interested in taking cooking classes, too, as everyone I know who has taken them recommend them highly. I can’t wait to see your other creations you’ve learned from the Moroccan cooking class. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hey Ngan, you are a very kind hostess! Well, I have taken some awesome cooking classes this winter and will surely bring some of the things that I have learned, to future Fiesta Fridays. You have a wonderful weekend too and it’s nice to have you and Nancy as co-hosts!

      Reply
  7. Nancy

    Wow Julianna, this is work of art. Absolutely gorgeous. The flavor profile sounds delicious and intriguing, and that color! I’m assuming the color is compliments of the turmeric and saffron?!? I love your idea of making individual pies. I just bought phyllo yesterday with plans to make Spanikopita, but I think you just changed my plans! Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday, I can’t wait to dig in 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Thanks so much Nancy! And it is nice to have you and Ngan as co-hosts this week! You two make a wonderful team! Well, I love Spanikopita too, but this would be a nice change. I hope you like it!

      Reply
      • Nancy

        Thanks Julianna…you and Hilda raised the bar high, I hope we can reach it!
        Looking at the ingredients, I don’t know how I couldn’t like this. You’ve left me thinking about it all morning!

  8. Alex

    This sounds realllly delicious! The phyllo and apricots and almonds and chicken – so much good stuff!

    Reply
  9. lapetitecasserole

    After the amazing meatballs that I did with your recipe I trust you, word after word. I’ve never made a meat cake your recipe and your photos make me feel to try. I’ve checked all the spices you’ve used, I’m sure that the small around the kitchen had to be unbelievably good!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Well, I really hope you do try it!! And let me know what you think of the smells as it cooks! I think it is quite wonderful! 😀

      Reply
  10. timethief

    Just reading the ingredients made my mouth water and my waist expand – just kidding, of course. I will put this on hubby’s list and I’m already looking forward to devouring not one but two wedges. 😉

    Reply
  11. cookingwithauntjuju.com

    Your pie looks and sounds delicious. I am not a big fan of thighs – I guess I could get away with using breasts, bone-in? There is just something about dark meat; I know it is more flavorful, however… 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hi JuJU! Yes, of course you could use chicken breasts! The only thing is, the meat will be a little drier and won’t have quite as much flavour, like you mentioned. I would just do it with the bone-in, so that there is a bit more moisture and flavour. Good luck! 😀

      Reply
  12. saucygander

    I was so excited when I saw this post title, and I was not disappointed, this is a beautiful and beautifully made pie! Bastilla has been one of those dishes I want to learn to make, properly. Yours turned out so will, what a lovely recipe!

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      LOL! Well, thanks Saucy! I’m glad that I could actually excite someone with my post!! This is a wonderful recipe and I’m sure you won’t’ be disappointed if you try making it. The chef who I got it from, lived for years in Morocco and her recipes are all tried and true. Let me know what you think of it when you do make it and thanks for your enthusiasm! 😀

      Reply
  13. theseasonedtraveler

    Wow, perfection! At first glance, looking at the sugar-dusted phyllo from above, it looks like such a delicate dessert, but then we see how stuffed full of savory and hearty goodness it is! I LOVE the sound of this blend of flavors from the spices, apricots, and savory chicken. Ah, the wonders of Moroccan cooking! This looks like a wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing your stunning creation 🙂

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Well, thank-you for your very kind comment! I am so with you on the fact that Moroccan cooking is a wondrous thing and I am so happy that you have enjoyed my recipe! Have an awesome week! 😀

      Reply
  14. Karen

    I love Moroccan dishes and this is a “must try” recipe. Thanks for bringing it to the party.

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Yes, I really agree with you! I hope you do get to try it. It was my pleasure to bring this lovely dish to the party! 😀

      Reply
      • Karen

        I was a little late to the party but thankfully I got to see a slice before someone scoffed it up. 🙂

      • chefjulianna

        Awesome! I’m so glad there was one piece left for you!! These Fiesta Friday people are one hungry bunch and they blow through tables of food in a heartbeat! It’s astonishing!! 😀

  15. chantal

    Hi Julianna

    So glad to see this recipe of Pastilla, I’am a huge fan of Morocco and Morrcan food. I first discover Morocco in 2002, and since that I consider to have a love affair with this country and it culture ! My next post will be for it.
    Thank you so much for sharing this nice recipe with us.
    Chantal

    Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hi Chantal! So nice to meet somebody else who has a love for Moroccan food! I am really glad that you like this recipe too. I am going to follow you so I can get your recipe in your next post. Looking forward to it 😀

      Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Hey Chantal, I just wanted to let you know that I can’t connect to your “.com” How should I go about following you?

      Reply
    • chefjulianna

      Oh, your recipe sounds awesome too! Have you posted it? I would love to try it next time I make this. Thanks so much for commenting! 😀

      Reply
      • Laura Sanchez

        Actually, I haven’t posted it yet, but you’re reminding me that I should! And happy to comment 🙂 very cool that you took Moroccan cooking class(es)!

      • chefjulianna

        Well, I hope you do post it, Laura! And yes, I love taking cooking classes – I took a number of them this winter just for the fun of it!

  16. (A Forager’s) Fiesta Friday #13 | The Novice Gardener

    […] Moroccan Chicken Pie with Apricots and Almonds (B’Stilla) from Julianna@Foodie On Board. This is one of those things that sounds incredible and looks incredible. And if you’ve been lucky enough to have eaten this, you would know that B’Stilla tastes as incredible as it sounds and looks. Julianna, we have just one word for you. Bravo! This kills! […]

    Reply

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