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Moroccan Chicken in Pastry: Pastilla #3 - meat

Posted by : Ruth Heiges

Here is another recipe from the same program of the Israeli TV show on
Mediterranean cooking entitled "Garlic, Pepper, and Olive Oil" [Shum,
Pilpel, vi-Shemen Zayit] as the one which gave the Fruit Salad with
Couscous. The full menu was for pastilla, a lamb stew with rice (I'll
translate and post, later), an arugala salad, and the fruit with couscous.

For those not familiar with this special treat, pastilla originates in the
Sephardic kitchen, where such individual meat pies were known as pastels.
Arab speakers who adopted this technique, not having a _P_ sound in their
language, call them _b'stilla_.

These instructions (which I'm translating from the Hebrew on the Netking
web site) are not written in cookbook style. The presenters of the program
really work and measure the ingredients this way; e.g., "a handful" of this
or that.

Pastilla with Chicken
300 grams (approx. 11 oz.) margarine
2-3 chopped onions
3 cinnamon sticks
pinch of saffron
ground ginger, to taste
3 leg quarters of chicken
handful of chopped parsley
phyllo pastry (may use frozen; thaw)
ground almonds
1 egg, beaten
powdered sugar
ground cinnamon

Fry the chopped onion in the margarine, until translucent. Add the chicken
sections and lightly fry them.

Add the chopped parsley, cinnamon sticks, saffron, and ginger. Add water,
to cover. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and continue to cook for 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken to cool. Strain out the onions, and reserve the cooking
liquid. Separate the meat from the bones and skin.

Oil a deep, round dish (my suggestion is a deep soup plate). Fit two sheets
of phyllo pastry in it. (It will likely overhang the plate.) Brush the
phyllo with oil, thoroughly. 

Sprinkle with a bit of the ground almonds and powdered sugar. Beat some of
the cooking liquid into the egg and use this to brush the phyllo [yes, over
the almonds and sugar].

Place some chicken and fried onions in the center of the phyllo. Fold over
the inside sheet of dough, to cover. 

Oil the closed-over dough. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and ground almonds.
Fold over the second sheet of dough, then oil it.

Repeat for the remaining chicken. (Sorry, they don't indicate what the
yield should be. My guess is at least four.)

Place on a well-greased baking sheet, folded side up. 

Bake at 180 C/360 F until the dough is browned.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and/or powdered sugar before serving.

Tip: At this point, they demonstrated having made a template of four
parallel lines, cut roughly from a plain sheet of paper. This was placed on
the pastilla and the powdered sugar or cinnamon sprinkled on. When the
paper was lifted, it left a pattern of the lines of sugar or cinnamon. (You
can do both on the same pastilla. Do one first; lift the paper; place it at
a different angle over the existing lines and do the second, giving a
design of sugar and cinnamon.)

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