(Normally made with pigeon, but chicken may be substituted)
(From the Kitchen of Samira & Fatima)
1 Whole Chicken (or equivalent parts in chicken thighs and breasts)
4 Large Onions (cut into small lengthwise slices)
Water (1/2 cup)
Ginger Powder (1 Teaspoon)
Black Pepper (1/2 Teaspoon)
1 Whole cinnamon stick
Olive Oil (1/2 Cup)
Butter (¼ stick)
Fresh Cilantro (1 large bunch, finely chopped)
Fresh Parsley (1 large bunch, finely chopped)
Sugar (1/2 Cup)
Ground Cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon)
Almonds (1 pound)
Sugar (1/2 cup)
Ground Cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon)
Vegetable oil (enough to fry the almonds)
12 Pastilla Sheets (Purchased)
2 beaten eggs (for assembly)
Vegetable oil (for assembly)
Powdered Sugar (for decoration)
Ground Cinnamon (for decoration)
§ Place the chicken, onions, water, cilantro, ½ of the parsley, ginger powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon sick, olive oil, and butter in a large stock. Cook over medium/high heat for approximately 30 minutes (or until chicken is thoroughly cooked).
Remove chicken from water, but allow other ingredients to continuing cooking over medium to high flame until onions are well caramelized (approximately an additional 30 minutes). Mixture should produce a fairly heavy stew consistency. Stir constantly so that the onions do not stick.
§ Once the chicken has cooled, cut the meat off of the bone into small cubes. Create small piles of chicken (approximately 3 inches in diameter) and set aside on a large baking sheet.
§ Once the onions have reached the consistency described above. Add ½ cup of sugar, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and remaining chopped parsley. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
§ Beat all 12 eggs, and with flame still on medium/high, add the egg mixture to the onion mixture. Stir constantly until the onion/egg mixture thickens. Note: should be thick, but not dry. Make sure there is still juice in the mixture.
§ Remove onion/egg mixture from stove and pour into colander. Shake colander to drain all of the juice.
§ Onion mixture must be allowed to completely cool before assembling the pastilla. It should ideally be allowed to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
§ To prepare almond mixture, add enough vegetable oil to a saucepan to cover the almonds, and fry the almonds over a high heat until brown. Drain the oil. Allow the almonds to cool. Chop the almonds in a food processor. In a plastic bag, mix the almonds, ½ cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
§ he almond mixture. Spread the almond mixture over the top, and slightly press down the onion and chicken mixture so that the mounds nicely match the size
of the saucer.
§ Fold one side of the pastilla sheet over the mixture.
§ Brush egg on the seam of the opposing side of the pastilla sheet and overlap this side over the first side.
§ Do the same with the remaining two sides, closing the pastilla in the shape of a square.
§ Drizzle approximately a teaspoon of vegetable oil on top of the closed pastilla, and smooth over with hand.
§ Carefully flip the pastilla off of the saucer into the palm of your hand, and place on the baking sheet, seams facing up.
Baking & Decorating
§ Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Once the pastillas are placed on baking sheet (with enough room not to touch each other) bake at 350 degrees, on the oven’s middle rack, for approximately 20 minutes. If the pastillas have not browned, heat from the top for a few minutes to brown.
§ Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly.
§ Decorate with mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon.