Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Morocco - Chicken and almond pastillas

This dish looks great and also like something I could even get the kids to eat. Well...maybe :D

Ingredients:

50g butter plus 1 tbls for the pan
1 onion
1 tbls cinnamon
10 cardamom pods
1 tsp tumeric
6 chicken thighs
1 tbls flour
500ml chicken stock
1 tbls honey
Zest of 1 orange
85g dried apricots
50g of flaked almonds
6 sheets of filo pastry
1 egg

The ingredient list was a bit of a disaster for me today. I didn't have some of the things I needed and had to improvise a bit. Oh well, that's half the fun of cooking!



Chop the onion up quite finely and saute it in the tablespoon of butter.



Add the cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric and stir well. It smells fantastic at this point.







Put the chicken and flour in next. I used chicken breasts instead of thighs and just cut each breast into 3 pieces.





Stir well to coat the chicken.





Add the stock to the pan, stir then cover and leave to simmer for 45 minutes.





Remove the chicken and put aside. I almost put it aside into my mouth because it looked so tender and smelled delicious! I put it in a bowl instead :(



This is when my ingredients disaster started! Add the honey (I used treacle instead) and almonds (I didn't have almonds. I thought about raiding the muesli for some kind of nuts but decided just to leave them out). It says in the recipe to reduce the liquid down so it's thick here but my liquid was already quite thick so I skipped that part. It didn't say to but I also removed the cardamom pods here.



Shred the chicken up and then add it to the thickened liquid.



 Add the orange zest (I had to use a satsuma for zest) and the apricots (I was going to substitute cranberries here but decided not to as I prefer them on my breakfast instead).




Now to get ready for the wrapping of the pastillas. Melt the butter and get an egg ready to beat for brushing on the finished pastillas.






Lay out a sheet of the filo pastry and brush with butter. Place a 6th of the mixture in the corner in a rough triangle shape.



Now you're supposed to fold the filo pastry over and keep it triangle shaped. I only got the hang of doing this on the last pastilla!


 




Brush with the beaten egg and bake in an oven at 200 C for 25 minutes.




They smelled really unusual when I took them out of the oven. Spicy and sweet.





I really liked them. They have a very moreish taste. The orangey flavour goes suprisingly well with the chicken. Leigh said they were nice but strange. Erin didn't eat her's and just eyed it suspiciously. I'd definitely have them again maybe even with almonds in them like the name implies. It's hard to describe them exactly, they were really sweetly fragrant tasting from the cinnamon and orange but also spicily savoury from the chicken and turmeric. Different, anyway :)

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