Yes I know it isn't Friday and for those other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group I know I am way behind BUT in my defense it has been a very busy last month and a half with the end of the school year, Harry's birthday, Xmas, my brother's wedding, then organsing and going on our 'summer' holiday as well as working for most of it. So I am playing a bit of catch up...well a lot of catch up. I was thrilled when this recipe was put onto the rotation for the group as it was one which really appealed to me the minute I saw it in the book. I decided to make it for dinner last night but actually started making it the day before. It made dinner preparation very quick and easy last night and although there are a few steps to the recipe, none are labour intensive.
A b'stilla is a Morrocan dish and is traditionally made with pigeon...hmm I don't know if I could eat those rats with wings! I didn't know if I would like the flavour of this pie as I don't tend to like sweet and savoury together but in the interest of forging new grounds I was willing to give it a go. And I'm glad I did. The flavours in this dish really improve with age so making the filling the day before helped to develop a complexity it lacked when it was first made. I even made sure that in the interest of following the recipe and being more authentic that I would do the cinnamon sugar on top even though my mind was telling me yugh! And it was good!
You start off with marinating the chicken in some onions, garlic and spices, then simmering it in some broth until you can shred the chicken up. The remaining stock is then reduced right down to abut a cup and thickened with egg and honey. This was probably the most tricky part as the eggs can quickly scramble when they are added to the hot stock. Mine did a bit but I was able to whisk it well and I didn't even notice it once it was made. However I read on another blog a good tip to temper the eggs first and in hindsight, that would have been a good idea and totally made sense, (interesting how hindsight is 20/20). Finally the chicken, some fresh herbs and onions are added back, given a good mix and put in the fridge until the next day or even for a few days if you like. The next day you line a cake tin with fillo, cover it all up to make it look good and sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar. Bake it until it's crispy and there you have a lovely pie with delicate and slightly unusual flavours.
|With the stock added|
|Fillo lined tin|
|With added chicken mix|
|Lined top and bottom with toasted, slivered almonds|
|Waiting to be baked|