This Moroccan chicken bastilla will have you dreaming of the markets of Marrakech. This dish is fragrant and full of amazing spices. Ian Hemphill uses the Moroccan Ras el Hanout spice blend — his version contains 21 different spices!
1 tbsp butter
2 onions, finely diced
1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
1 1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout, refer to The Spice and Herb Bible recipe
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, divided
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, divided
1 medium chicken, butchered
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 sheets phyllo pastry
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup toasted flaked almonds
1 tsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp dried rose petals, crumbled
In a large and heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook until translucent (about five minutes). Add ginger and cook for one more minute. Stir in Ras el Hanout, coriander leaves and parsley. Add chicken and continue to stir. Pour in just enough water to cover chicken. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Simmer for 25–30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl (reserve sauce in pan) and set aside to cool.
Cook sauce on high for 8–10 minutes, until thickened. Reduce heat to medium and add eggs. Stir constantly until cooked through. Turn off heat and set aside.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and roughly chop. In a bowl, combine chicken, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Lay two sheets of phyllo pastry on a clean work surface and cut in half vertically, forming four strips. Place two of the strips on top of each other. On top of that, place a third strip at right angles and a fourth at right angles to the third, forming a cross. Brush with egg wash.
Scoop 2–3 tbsp of the egg mixture into centre. Fold the opposite ends of the top phyllo strip over mixture. Top with one quarter of the prepared chicken and sprinkle with coriander leaves, parsley and almonds. Fold over the next layer of phyllo. Make a parcel with the remaining two layers by folding in loose edges as you go — tuck in the last corner of pastry like an envelope. Use your hands to pat the parcel into a round shape.
Transfer to a prepared baking sheet, herb side up. Brush with melted butter.
Repeat with remaining ingredients to make three more bastillas.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden.
In a small bowl, mix together confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over bastillas and serve with rose petals scattered on top.