Sunday, February 25, 2018

Morocco - Pastilla

Pastilla is said to be "uniquely Moroccan, intricate and grand, fabulously rich and fantastical". Traditionally made with squabs (baby pigeons) it's now mostly made with chicken. Almonds or pistachios are commonly used in this dish, I used walnuts because I already had some.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4–6 boneless chicken thighs (cooked)
  • 70g butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 4 eggs
  • 75g nuts
  • 75g dried dates
  • 1 orange
  • filo pastry

  • Finely chop the onion and garlic then saute it in 10g of the butter. 

     Add the spices and fry for another minute or so.

    Add the chicken stock and simmer on a lower heat for 15 minutes to reduce the stock. 

    Beat the eggs and add to the pan, stirring constantly until you have a loose scrambled egg mixture. Chop up the chicken thighs and add them to the pan along with the nuts, dates, zest and juice of the orange.

    Preheat the oven to 180C and start to assemble the pie. Brush 6 sheets of filo pastry with melted butter.

     Line an ovenproof dish with the buttered filo pastry, turning each piece by 90 degrees as you place them in the dish.

     Put the filling in the dish and fold over each piece of filo pastry in reverse order.

    Bake for 30 minutes until browned on top. 

     We served our pie with some sweet potato.

    This pie had a really unusual taste. Sweet and savoury at the same time. We enjoyed it, it was meaty and filling but occasionally biting date pieces along with chicken was a little unsettling. The filling had melded together to give an almost solid meat filling, the texture was really nice. Crisp filo on the top and softer, almost soggy filo on the base. I've honestly never had anything like it. I think it lives up to it's label of fantastical.
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