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The Ultimate Chicken Pie - Bastilla

     

This is the most wildly fantastic chicken pie you will ever taste – each layer is full of the exotic flavours of Morocco.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
 

4 Whole Tegel Chicken Legs, skin on, bone in
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 stick celery, chopped
1 onion – peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons rice bran oil or other cooking oil
3 onions, peeled and diced
1 heaped teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
1 teaspoon salt, extra
½ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chicken stock
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup roughly chopped parsley

1 cup ground almonds
2 tablepsoons sugar
3 tablespoons rice bran oil

10 sheets filo pastry
5 tablespoons butter, melted

Honey, cinnamon and flaked almonds to garnish

METHOD:

Chicken filling:

In a large stock pot, put the chicken legs, salt, pepper, celery, quartered onion and enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until the meat can be teased away from the bones with a fork (about 30-45 minutes). Remove chicken from the stock (reserve the stock) and allow to cool enough to handle. De-bone the chicken pieces and roughly shred. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onions. Saute until soft, then add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, extra salt and black pepper. Add the chicken, ½ cup reserved stock and the saffron. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. Set aside.

Prepare Egg/Herb filling:
Heat 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock then whisk in the eggs and chopped parsley. Cook until it resembles scrambled eggs. Pour through a sieve and leave to drain excess stock.

Almond filling:
Meanwhile, mix the almonds with the sugar and oil until a dry paste forms.

Assembling & Cooking the pie:
Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Grease a 25cm diameter metal pie dish.

Brush one sheet of filo with melted butter and line the pie dish with it, leaving it to overhang the edges (to be folded over the filling later). Repeat with 6 more sheets, buttering between each layer and rotating the dish so that there is some filo overhang all the way around the dish.

Now assemble the layers of ingredients.

First, spread the cooled chicken mix evenly in the case, then add the egg/parsley mix on top and finally the almond mix. Wrap the overhanging sheets to encase the filling, buttering them if they need it. Finish by layering 3 final sheets, each brushed with butter,so that the top is smooth. Tuck them carefully down the sides.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom of pie is cooked.

To serve, dust the top with pinches of cinnamon, flaked almonds and honey (optional). Sounds weird but it works!

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