Chicken B'stilla

Chicken B'stilla

Chicken B'stilla

I adore Moroccan food. The smell that envelopes your house when you are cooking a Morrocan Tagine is, in my books, way up there with Glade Plug Ins, popcorn, and white glue! I also love the way so many Moroccan dishes incorporate dried fruits and nuts (two of my favourite food groups). I have recently invested in a real ceramic Tagine, and a couple of Moroccan cookbooks and I've experimented with some different types of salads, couscous, and stews. I haven't posted any of these recipes yet but I will (someday).

Both of my Moroccan cookbooks have recipes for Chicken B'stilla (pronounced Bisteeya). Everytime I flip through those books, I hang on those pages, drooling over the pictures, but despairing over how complicated (and caloric) the recipe seems. And so, I dog ear the page (again) for another time.

Ingredients

  • When I was in New Zealand on vacation over the holidays, I was happy to see there was a Moroccan restaurant in Rotorua. I went on-line and noticed that they had Chicken B'stilla on their menu. My heartrate went through the roof (hey, I get excited about food!). This was a perfect opportunity to taste this dish without having to slave over it all day, and without being able to go back for seconds (or fourths)...which I knew was going to be a serious risk...
  • Sadly, our travel companions weren't so fussy about the whole Moroccan food idea, and so I didn't get to go. I've been mourning that Chicken B'stilla ever since. There aren't too many Moroccan restaurants here in Ottawa, and to my knowledge, none serve Chicken B'stilla.
  • And so, when I noticed that the 2009 Holiday edition of the LCBO Food and Drink Magazine had a recipe for Chicken B'stilla, I new it was fate. I ran out right away and bought the ingredients before I could come to my senses. I even made one last ditch attempt to subvert my own plans. That morning at breakfast I asked my husband Mario, "so what would you like for dinner tonight, poached plain chicken breasts with boring steamed vegetables and dry boiled potates OR Chicken B'stilla?"
  • He answers (with conviction) Chicken B'Stilla! And then, "so what exactly IS Chicken B'stilla again?".
  • This is Chicken B'stilla.
  • Chicken B'stilla
  • (Note: the original recipe called for chicken with the skin on, and for 1/2 cup of butter, I used skinless chicken and cut the butter in half and the recipe did not suffer at all from these alterations. At least I don't think it did... I'd have to actually try it the original way to know for sure.... oh geez....)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 9 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (or more if you run out)
  • Icing sugar for garnish
  • In a large frying pan with a cover, heat vegetable oil and brown chicken breasts on both sides. Remove to a plate.
  • In the same pan add onions and cook about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, chili flakes and turmeric. Stir for 30 seconds.
Read the whole recipe on Janet is Hungry