Recipe courtesy of Linger

Chicken Bastilla

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1/4 cup clarified butter, plus about 3 more tablespoons, melted

1/3 cup blanched slivered almonds

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 large sweet onion, chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 pods green cardamom, crushed

One 2-inch piece Vietnamese cinnamon (cassia bark)

12 ounces skinless, bone-in chicken (preferably thighs)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 egg, beaten

1 package phyllo dough, cut into long, wide strips

Directions

  1. In a saute pan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add the almonds and fry until golden brown. They will continue browning after they're removed from the heat, so be careful not to get them too dark in the pan. Remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In a bowl, toss the drained almonds with the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the onions to the pan that the almonds came out of and fry until tender (to keep the butter from burning, add a little oil if needed). Add the turmeric, salt, coriander, ginger, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon stick and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and continue frying until the spices are fragrant. 
  2.  Remove the onions from the pan and add the chicken. Return the onions to the pan and cover the chicken. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cover the pan with a lid. Gently simmer the chicken until the meat easily comes off the bones, about 1 hour. There shouldn't be any need to add water since the onions and chicken will give off liquid; however, if all the liquid evaporates and it starts burning, add a bit of water. Remove the chicken from the pan and discard the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. 
  3.  Turn the heat up to thicken the sauce. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred it with your fingers. Once the sauce has reached a thick state, add the parsley and egg. Allow some curds to form, then stir to scramble the egg into the sauce. Turn off the heat and add the pulled chicken back in. Taste and add salt as needed. Allow this mixture to cool (ideally overnight in the fridge). 
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  5.  Apply a light coating of the remaining melted butter onto each strip of phyllo. Put a scant tablespoon chicken mixture onto a corner of each strip of dough. Sprinkle a pinch of sugared almonds on top. Begin folding the strips into triangles starting from the end with the filling. The motion is similar to how you would fold a flag. You can also roll them into tubes if you like. Place them on a baking sheet and brush the tops with more melted butter. Bake until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. 

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