I have been wanting to try making a pastilla for a while now and when I saw a recipe for a chicken and date pastilla in this months Food & Drink magazine it was like fate as I still had a bunch of fresh medjool dates! A pastilla (aka bastilla, bisteeya, b’steeya, bstilla and b’stilla) is a sweet and savoury Moroccan meat pie that is wrapped in light and flaky phyllo dough. The pastilla contains a lot of my favorite things from a good tagine including a really nice combination of Moroccan spices, tender meat, sweet dates and raisins, slivered almonds and fresh parsley and cilantro. After the pie is baked until the phyllo is nice and golden brown, light and flaky it is dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon adding another nice layer of sweet to weave into the already complex dish. This pie takes a bit of effort to make but it is well worth the trouble! The pastilla is a perfect combination of sweet and savoury and the flavours, textures and the spicy aroma will just make you swoon. I am certainly looking forward to enjoying the leftovers!
Chicken and Date Pastilla
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken breast (about 4 chicken breasts)
- 2 onions (sliced)
- 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon cumin (toasted and ground)
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pinch saffron
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup dates (pitted and chopped coarsely)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 sheets phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- icing sugar and cinnamon
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the chicken, skin down, brown and set aside.
- Add the onions and saute until tender, about 7-12 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, chili flakes, turmeric and saffron and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Put the chicken back in the pan along with the stock, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken, let it cool and shred it.
- Put the chicken back in the pan along with the eggs, dates, raisins, cilantro and almonds, mix and season with salt and pepper.
- Place a sheet of phyllo on your working surface and brush with the olive oil.
- Place a sheet of phyllo on top forming a plus sign and brush with olive oil and repeat until all sheets are done.
- Place the phyllo into a 9 inch spring form pan, fill with the chicken mixture and fold the overhanging phyllo over the top sealing the pie.
- Brush the top with olive oil.
- Bake in a preheated 375F/190C oven until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
- Let cool and dust with icing sugar and cinnamon.
Pomegranate and Date Lamb Tagine
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons
Chicken Pot Pie
Medjool Date Pecan Pie
Lamb Exohiko (Lamb Stuffed Phyllo Parcels)
Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
Mushroom and Feta Phyllo Pie
Kolokithopita (Greek Zucchini Pie)
Agginaropita (Greek Artichoke Pie)
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Strudel with Balsamic Syrup
Apple and Cheddar Quiche
Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie)
Asparagus and Walnut Phyllo Pie (aka Asparagus Baklava) with Avgolemono Sauce
Roasted Pumpkin Quiche with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Sage
Strawberry Goat Cheese Banitsa
Lamb Exohiko (Lamb, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Phyllo Parcels)
Fiddlehead and Gruyere Tart