Hands-on time 1 hour,
simmering time 30 min,
oven time 30 min
Chicken pie but not as you know it – this slightly sweetened Moroccan-inspired recipe wraps a spiced chicken and sultana filling in a crunchy layer of filo pastry.
Nutritional info per serving
Fat 25.9g (10.3g saturated)
Carbohydrates 19.1g (11.1g sugars)
125g unsalted butter
8 British free-range chicken thighs
2 onions, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
Large thumb-size piece fresh ginger, finely grated
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika (not smoked)
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra
100g blanched almonds, chopped
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra
Zest 1 lemon and juice ½
3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
5-6 filo pastry sheets
You’ll also need…
23cm loose-bottomed cake tin
1. Melt 50g of the butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, season the chicken with salt and add to the pan, skin-side down, then fry for 5-6 minutes until deep golden on the underside. Flip the chicken and fry for another minute or so, then remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Turn down the heat and add the onions, stirring for 5-6 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and ginger, then fry for 2 minutes. Add the spices, then fry, stirring, for another 3-4 minutes. Put the chicken back in the pan, then pour in 400ml water. Bring to a brisk simmer, partially cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and leave until cool enough to handle.
3. Bring the liquid in the pan to the boil and reduce for 5-10 minutes until it begins to thicken – when you drag a spoon through, the liquid should stay parted for a second before coming together. Turn off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the almonds, icing sugar, sultanas, lemon zest and juice, and finally the eggs to give a smooth sauce that coats the back of a spoon easily.
4. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl. Remove and discard the chicken skin and bones, then shred the meat into the sauce. Stir in the herbs, taste and season accordingly – it should taste quite sweet and spiced. Set aside to cool completely.
5. Once cool, melt the remaining 75g butter and heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6. Brush the cake tin with melted butter. Brush one sheet of filo with melted butter, then lay it over the tin, buttered-side up, and push it into the tin to line it, leaving an overhang. Repeat with the next sheet, laying it at a different angle, then keep going so the cake tin is well lined with filo. Spoon the filling into the filo case and pack it in, then fold over the overhanging filo to enclose it. You may need an extra sheet of filo, folded to fill any gap. Brush the pie with more melted butter, then put the tin on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove, leave to stand for 20 minutes, then remove from the tin. Sift over a little cinnamon and icing sugar, then serve.
The pie will keep in the fridge for 24 hours. Bring to room temperature or warm through in a medium oven to serve, then sprinkle with icing sugar and cinnamon at the last minute.
Basteeya is meant to be savoury and slightly sweet, but if you don’t think you’ll like the icing sugar, leave it out.
A mellow red, such as a corbières or southern French syrah, cuts it with this.