Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mad Gourmet’s Moroccan Chicken Bastilla

Adapted on the recipe from Les Borjs de la Kasbah and The Kitchen Alchemist.
Makes about a dozen snack-sized pieces (Good for four people or two really hungry ones)

For my experience in making these, check out this post.

Not eggrolls. Moroccan Bastillas. Yum!

·      1 Tbsp vegetable oil
·      1/4 medium sized onion, chopped
·      1 inch piece fresh root ginger, grated
·      1/2 tsp ground cloves
·      1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
·      1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
·      1/2 c chicken stock
·      Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
·      1 c of chicken meat, diced
·      1 free-range egg, beaten
·      About 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
·      Small handful chopped fresh parsley
·      Small handful chopped fresh coriander
·      few saffron strands, optional (Original recipe calls for this, but I did not use it – It’s pricey.)
·      1 tsp sugar
·      2-3 Tbsp of slivered almonds, toasted, roughly crushed
·      Phyllo pastry (I used about 6 sheets, but I am a novice)
·      Confectionares’ sugar with cinnamon, to serve

1.               Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pot and fry the onions for 6-8 minutes, or until softened.
2.               Stir in the ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and stock and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3.               Add the chicken meat to the pot.
4.               Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for one hour, adding more water or broth if the mixture becomes dry.
5.               Preheat your oven to 350°F.
6.               Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool.
7.               Meanwhile, continue to cook the onion mixture until thickened.
8.               Add the beaten eggs, butter, herbs, saffron, sugar and almonds to the pan and cook over a gentle heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly, or until the mixture resembles scrambled eggs. Remove from the heat.
9.               Take two sheets of pastry and cut it in about three inch strips.
10.           Take a strip and brush it with melted butter.
11.           Place a 1 teaspoon sized dollop of the cooled chicken mixture and 1 teaspoon sized of the egg mixture onto one end. Fold the pastry like an egg roll. Fold them over until you get toward the end of the sheet and brush some melted butter over the end strip so that when you give it the final fold it stays shut.
12.           Repeat until you have as many parcels as you need and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I used my favorite cookie sheet).
13.           Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, turning them over half way. They’ll be done when they’re nicely golden brown.
14.           To serve, Remove the bastilla from the sheet and let it sit on a plate or serving dish, and dust with cinnamon confectionares’ sugar or just serve on it’s own.

Alternate folding approach (From The Kitchen Alchemist Recipe):

1.     Take a sheet of pastry and cut it in half lengthwise.
2.     Place a ½ tablespoon teaspoon sized dollop of the cooled chicken/egg mixture onto one end.
3.     Fold the pastries up into a triangle, and the edge of the triangle then folds in again (a bit like folding a flag, or practice on a strip of paper before having a go until you get the knack). Fold them over until you get toward the end of the sheet and brush some melted butter over the end strip so that when you give it the final fold it stays shut.

Tips and Alternatives:
·      If you are starting with raw chicken meat, it may be best to cook them in the onion mixture. For thighs (which is what I started with), it produces a lot of chicken fat. You should reduce the fat and perhaps add a bit more spice to the mixture (I just have not played with the proportions just yet).

·      (Also from The Kitchen Alchemist) For extra sweetness, lightly dust the top and the length of the pastry strip with the cinnamon sugar.

Happy eating!

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