8/3/14

{ Traditional Moroccan B'stila }


A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend's Mom Amina hosted an elaborate & authentic Moroccan dinner. 
{ She's the most amazing cook. }

When I found out that she was making B'stila - my favorite Moroccan dish - I knew I couldn't leave without the recipe, and of course, a few pictures for you all. 

For those of you who have never tried B'stila, it's sort of like a savory version of baklava. With a sweet & salty chicken almond filling, delicately wrapped in flaky, buttery phyllo dough. And to top it all off, it's dusted with a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon { perfect for my first savory Sugar Coated Inspiration post, right?! }


Ok, so I realize that the powdered sugar and chicken combo might sound a bit odd to you at first. 
But trust me. 
Take my word and try this dish. The flavors are so unique and delicious, like nothing I've had before.


*Begin by making the chicken filling*

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat & then saut√© the onion in this oil until it becomes golden brown { 6 - 8 minutes. } Next, add in the chicken, parsley, cilantro, turmeric, saffron, water, ginger, & cinnamon. Cover this and cook it until the chicken becomes tender { about 25 minutes. } 

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and place it into a bowl where it can cool down. And once it's cool, shred it into small pieces.

Now that the chicken is out of the pan, let the remaining sauce continue to simmer, and then add in the beaten eggs, salt, pepper, & sugar. Stir until the eggs are scrambled, and then add the shredded chicken back into the pan. 

And that's it for the chicken filling!


*Next, make the almond mixture*

For this step, you'll need blanched almonds - which you can either buy from the store, or make at home using these steps.

Once the almonds are blanched & dried, place them into a blender or food processor with the cinnamon and sugar. Blend until they look like the picture below.


*Finally, assemble the B'stila*

Preheat your oven to 425 F. 

Now, prepare the phyllo dough - you'll need 12 sheets of it. 
Place 3 of the phyllo sheets at the bottom of a deep & greased square baking dish, letting the excess fall over the edge. { Make sure that you keep the remaining phyllo dough covered with a damp cloth while you work, or it will dry out. }

Brush the sheets lightly with butter as you layer them in the pan. Once the first layer of phyllo dough is buttered, add 1/2 of your almond mixture on evenly.

Next, layer on 3 more buttered phyllo sheets & place all of your chicken mixture on top of this. Cover with 3 more buttered phyllo sheets.

Sprinkle the remaining almond mixture on top and cover it up with the last 3 phyllo sheets. Brush the top with more butter and fold the hanging edges onto themselves - as seen in the pictures below!





Bake the B'stila at 425 F, for 20-25 minutes, just until golden brown. 

{ Remember, all of the filling is already cooked, so this step is just meant to cook & brown the phyllo dough! }


Top the B'stila off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar & cinnamon - and it's done! 


Along with the B'stila, Amina served an elaborate spread of dates, beets, green beans, carrots, salmon, Zahlouk {a cooked eggplant dish}, homemade hummus, & more. All prepared with the distinct flavors of Morocco.

Currently wishing I could travel back in time and eat this dinner all over again...








~INGREDIENTS~


For the filling...

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 skinless chicken thighs
3 boneless & skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley {minced}
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro {minced}
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
8 threads of Spanish saffron {toasted & crushed}
1 cup water
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten 
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup powdered sugar


For the almond mixture...

1/2 cup whole, blanched almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon


Fold it all up into...

12 sheets phyllo dough
1 cup melted butter

{ cinnamon & powdered sugar for garnish }





{ Recipe via Amina Ashe - thank you! :) }





enjoy*

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