ffwd – chicken b’stilla

I’ll admit it, I thought about skipping this one. Between the P&Q comments, and generally having a busy week – I was tempted to pass. Of course, my inner rule-follower prevailed. But I decided to split the recipe, and then the whole baking pan size business sent me in another direction as well ( what is it with the pan sizes…? I’m teaching some friends to make the double chocolate mousse cake this weekend, so stopped to see if I could find another 8″ spingform pan. I actually have one that measures 8″. But the ones at my local fancy kitchenware store said they were 8″ (2 brands!), but were really 7″!!! what’s up with that? Now I understand why there’s been so much angst with the ffwd group and the pan sizes. Good grief! Can’t manufacturers measure any more? Oh, and it makes me wonder which “8-inch” pan Dorie’s been using?).

So anyway, I too ended up making this over a couple of evenings. Admittedly, it wasn’t difficult. I thought the combination of flavors might be good too. As usual, Dorie was correct – this is pretty good!

OK, I admit it, I forgot to take my first picture for a little bit.
chicken thighs, onions, garlic, spices
this all goes on the stove for a bit of a simmer in some chicken broth
after that step was complete, I refrigerated the chicken and broth separately

about to reduce the broth, with its added squeeze of lemon
admittedly, I will never become a “real” French cook, because I’m unwilling to do
some of the little things – yes, those are onions in there – no, I did not strain them out to add back later!

the reduced broth, ready to thicken with the whole egg
it was a really nice sauce at this point

after thickening with the egg, in go the chopped fresh herbs and shredded chicken

since I was doing bundles, instead of the cake – I just layered 4 sheets of filo, each brushed with butter
then put some of the filling, along with the sliced almonds into the center
maybe it was the bundles, but I used more than my fair share of butter, and the filo was not evenly covered

the filling “bundled-up”, brushed with butter, and sprinkled with a little
cinnamon sugar, ready for the oven

looking delicious, just out of the oven

ready to eat, beautiful brown pastry, surrounding the chicken filling

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. The Moroccan spices made for a very nice combination. If I made this again, I’d probably add a bit more of everything, and maybe a pinch of cayenne. I also might change how the sauce was thickened, but it was really quite tasty, and once it was in the pastry and baked, it didn’t matter. And I have to say that I think the bundles were awfully cute! They were really easy to do, and made for a festive presentation. The only problem is that there’s a fair bit of soft dough where the package comes together. But I didn’t think that it detracted too much. Also, with the bundles, they actually re-heated perfectly! That was a nice surprise.

11 thoughts on “ffwd – chicken b’stilla

  1. Oh, I'm so glad someone did the bundles! I was thinking about that when I was making the pie, and how fun that would be as an appetizer type of thing. Also, I really like the idea of adding some cayenne! For the other spices, I think it's an issue of personal taste, but I did find that mine became pretty concentrated when I reduced the broth (I did strain out the onions, which left a lot of the spices in the broth). Thanks for the info! And did you bake the bundles at the same temp as the recipe states?

  2. Glad you liked the bundles! Thanks, everyone!!I baked the bundles at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, put a little foil loosely draped over the top and then baked at 350 for 20 minutes more. I only did 1/3 of the recipe, so I think you could easily do 6 servings (as Dorie notes) with the full recipe. It just takes more filo dough. But I think it makes the presentation pretty festive!

  3. The other thing I thought would work for this is to do little tri-corner packages – using the buttered filo, folding the filling up like a flag. Then it would really be finger-food! You could do appetizer size, or full-size. Just a thought!!

  4. WOW! I love your bundles!!! And I was also thinking the same thing about the spices…needs a bit more of everything and I was also considering cayenne. We all loved this recipe, however, I think it can be even better. And next time, I will try the bundles. Exceptional!

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