Morocco, Algeria – Pastilla ( Moroccon Chicken Pie)


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ABOUT THE DISH

Morocco is a country which is famous for its food and historical cuisines. It has a variety of dishes which varies from savory to the sweet ones. Its incredible culture and people all are a combination of its beautiful food and not only it is famous there but all around the world. Another very popular and demanding dish of the Moroccan cuisine is Pastilla which is an chicken pie. It is without doubt one of the best dish in this region and everyone loves it. It is a pie which is made by combining chicken with some spices and onions along with some almonds as well. This chicken acts as the pies filling which is added inside of a filo pastry and then cooked in the over. Historically the pastry used in the pie was not filo but instead werqa pastry was used but it is not commonly found in all parts of the world hence filo is used often. In different restaurants in Morocco and Alegria werqa pastry pie is commonly served and it is also very delicious. Pastilla is very famous because it is a celebratory dish in Morocco and Algeria. It is served during weddings and also at family gatherings. It is very easy to make and has a great flavor. There are also many variations of this pie like in some cases pigeon is used instead of the chicken and it also adds a great flavor. It is considered one of the best cuisines in all Africa and this shows how much loved and well known it is.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY

The name of this pie comes from the spanish word “pastilla” which means “pastry” in Spanish. After a while the letter P was changed to B meaning that the name changed from Pastilla to Bastilla. Bastilla has the Arabic origin meaning this dish now also associates as an Arabic cuisine. There are many historians which have claimed the true origins of this dish but there are many stories and all cannot be verified but these are very interesting to hear.

One researcher by the name Anny Gaul said that the recipe of this pie resembles to some dishes mentioned in the cookbooks of the 13th century. One of this books is named as Ibn Razīn. These cookbooks were of the Andalusi region the researcher mentions.

A professor named Ken Albala stated that this dish came into the Moroccan region in the 16th century when the Moorish Muslims left Spain for Morocco. Thousands and thousands of people travelled here and were warmly welcomed by the Moroccan people and this became part of their incredible history.

Another historian named Idriss Bouhlila claimed that this dish is of the the Andalusi region. He says that this dish came to Morocco through the Algerians who were before that living in Tetouan . These people migrated to Tetouan after the French invaded Algeria in 1830. He says that this dish came into existence after this and at that time the pie was made with werqa pastry which then was brought to the Moroccan region by the Algerian people. He said that by taking all this information in hand the name of this dish is of the Turkish origin which is not proved it is just his words only.

VARIATIONS

Pastilla has many different variations depending on how people make it to the difference in their choice of protein used in it. Some of them are as follows.

  • POULTRY PASTILLA: This version of Pastilla is quite similar to the one which is commonly made but the difference is that it is made with pigeon. Other then this the steps are same and crepe pastry is used instead of Filo to cover the filling.
  • SEAFOOD PASTILLA : This pastilla is made with seafood and fish. It is more spicy than the other ones and contains lemon juice and shredded cheese.
  • MILK PASTILLA: In the Fassi cuisine there is a pastilla named Jowhara meaning “pastilla with milk“. In this pastilla milk was added as the filling between the filo sheets and also some orange flavor. In the end it was dusted with sugar.
  • APPLE PASTILLA : In this type of pastilla apple slices were added as the filling of the pastry and also apple juice to the pie an apple type flavor.

INGREDIENTS REQUIRED TO MAKE IT

  • Chicken thighs
  • Onion 1 (diced)
  • Ginger (chopped)
  • Cinnamon 1 tsp 
  • Chicken stock 200ml
  • Phyllo sheets 10 
  • Eggs 3
  • Almonds
  • Sugar 1 tsp 
  • Melted butter
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

STEPS TO PREPARE THE FILLING

  • In order to prepare the filling we first need to prepare the chicken.
  • Take your chicken thighs and add some salt and pepper on it.
  • Then cut your chicken thighs into small pieces.
  • Taka a pan over a medium heat and add diced onions and ginger in it.
  • After this add some sugar and cinnamon in the pan and mix and cook it.
  • Cook them until a brown color is formed and then add your chicken pieces.
  • Add some chicken stock.
  • Also add those three eggs and they should be beaten.
  • Mix everything and then finally add the almonds.
  • Let them cook for 5-6 minutes and then take off the heat and put it aside for later use.

STEPS TO ASSEMBLE THE PIE

  • Take your filo sheets and brush them with some melted butter.
  • Put this filo sheets in a baking bowl.
  • Add your filling in the filo sheets.
  • Cover the top with more filo sheets and then add another layer of the filling.
  • Again follow the above steps until your filling is finished.
  • Cover the top and brush some more melted butter.
  • Put the bowl in the oven and cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • Once done then take it out and dust some sugar on it.
  • Then finally serve and enjoy.

TIME NEEDED TO MAKE IT

PREPERATION TIME : 30 minutes
COOKING TIME : 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME :
1 hour 10 minutes
YIELDS : 5-6 servings

NUTRITION FACTS

Calories 375
Total Fat 14g
Cholesterol
112mg
Total Carbohydrates
27g
Sugars
7g
Protein
36g
Sodium
2000mg
Potassium
650mg

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