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Bastilla - Moroccan Chicken Pie
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Recipe Information
L. A. Times California Cookbook, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1981

Serves/Makes:10 or more

  • 1 (2-1/2 lbs (1.1 kg). to 3 lbs (1.4 kg).) chicken, cut up
  • 1 whole chicken breast, halved
  • salt
  • pepper
  • unsalted butter or margarine
  • 4 chicken livers, diced
  • 4 chicken gizzards, diced
  • 4 chicken hearts, diced
  • 1 cup (225 ml) minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped mint
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) grated gingerroot
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) crumbled saffron threads
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) cinnamon
  • 3 cups (700 ml) chicken broth
  • 10 eggs, well beaten
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated sugar
  • 10 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) golden raisins, soaked in 1/2 cup (125 ml) warm rum
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) powdered sugar
  • Rinse and pat chicken pieces dry.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Melt 6 tbsp (90 ml) butter in skillet and brown chicken.
  • Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  • Add livers, gizzards, hearts, onion and garlic to skillet and cook, stirring, until onion is tender.
  • Stir in parsley, mint, ginger, cumin, red pepper, turmeric, saffron, and 1/2 tsp (2 ml) cinnamon.
  • Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring.
  • Return chicken to skillet and simmer, covered, about 1 hour, or until chicken is very tender.
  • Remove chicken from broth; cool.
  • Discard chicken skin and bones and cut meat into chunks.
  • Skim fat from broth.
  • Pour off 2 cups (475 ml) broth and reserve.
  • Reduce remaining broth to about 1/2 cup (125 ml).
  • Scrape bits from bottom of skillet and reserve reduced mixture.
  • Return reserved 2 cups (475 ml) broth to pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Pour eggs into simmering broth and whisk until soft creamy curds are formed.
  • Drain off excess liquid, if any.
  • Stir in reserved reduced mixture.
  • Brown almonds in 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, then toss with granulated sugar and 2 tbsp (30 ml) cinnamon.
  • Melt about 1 cup (225 ml) butter.
  • Overlap 6 sheets phyllo dough in a circle in 12 inch skillet or paella pan, first brushing each sheet with melted butter and letting about half the length of each sheet hang over pan edge.
  • Fold 2 more buttered sheets in half and place in the middle of the pan.
  • Layer almonds, half the egg mixture, chicken pieces, drained raisins, and remaining egg mixture in pastry-lined pan.
  • Fold sides of dough up and over filling, brushing any dry areas with more butter.
  • Tuck ends in around edges.
  • Place 2 more buttered and folded sheets of phyllo over bastilla, gently tucking in edges to form a smooth surface.
  • Brush generously all over with butter.
  • With sharp knife, score top in a diamond pattern.
  • Bake at 425 degrees (225 C.) for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown.
  • Carefully slide onto serving plate and sprinkle lightly between diamonds with mixture of powdered sugar and remaining 2-1/2 tsp (12.5 ml) cinnamon.
  • Serve warm.
According to the L. A. Times California Cookbook, this recipe won first prize in a March of Dimes cookoff. Hope it meets your expectations!

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