Friday, January 28, 2011

FFwD: Chicken B'stille

Yeah, I know.  Two difficult-to-pronounce items in as many days.  What am I thinking? 

I'm thinking I'm really challenging myself, participating in both the Daring Bakers and French Fridays with Dorie.  But to tell the truth, I'm really having a lot of fun!

I've never made Moroccan food before.  Ever.  This recipe is a great introduction to Moroccan cooking, as well as Moroccan eating!  As with all the FFwD challenges, we're not allowed to share the recipe, but you've all gone and bought the book by now, right?  Right?  You should, even if it's just for this one dish.  Oh my goodness--if you could smell my house over the past two days you'd be running to the bookshop right now!

This recipe starts out really simply, unless you're like Mr. Boom and myself.  Essentially, eight chicken thighs are thrown into a dutch oven with onion, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.  This concoction rests for one hour.  Dorie calls it marinating; Mr. Boom says you can't marinate without liquid.  I say an onion by other name...

Anyway, after an hour you stir in some stock and some more seasoning, and boil the mess until the chicken meat falls off its pretty little bones.  And your whole house smells like a warm place in a land far, far, far away...

The bones are removed from the chicken, eggs are added to thicken the sauce, and then the solids are reintroduced to the liquids.  This is a very happy marriage, and will result in many years of bliss (lived out on my hips, of course).

I let the chicken mixture hang out overnight, then continued on with the recipe on day two.  Just because it's day two, doesn't mean the process is any less fragrant. 

Toasted almond slices.  Need I say more?

Filo dough lines a well-greased cake pan and is then sprinkled with the toasted almonds.  The chicken marriage is plopped in next, followed by more toasted almonds.  More filo dough covers all that up, and then a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar finishes off the pan.

While this is baking, your brain will not be able focus on the snow outside, the chill in the air, or anything else non-tropical.

With luck, which I had (hooray), the b'stille will flip out of the cake pan onto a cutting board, and then will re-flip back over onto a serving platter. 

Now, Dorie says this dish needs no accompaniment, but Mr. Boom would have appreciated a salad or some other greenery on the side.  To me, a little glass of port was the perfect little side dish needed.

And what to do with the left over filo dough?  Chirp chirp made baklava, all by herself.  I love that kid!

P.S. Go check out some of the other folks who made this same dish.  There's real inspiration to be found over at this link!


  1. I was afraid to try and unmold mine...but yours came out beautifully, so I'll try next time.

  2. I was lucky, Audrey. Mine slipped out without a wink of trouble. I barely needed to wash the pan!

  3. I was too chicken to try and flip mine! Yours looks great!

  4. Hi Kat - I know what you mean about these dishes - b'stilla and joconde! But that's what it's all about, right? Learning, challenges, and beautiful results.

  5. Hi, Kat - I actually bought the cookbook stand on eBay - it has a cute bird on top, too! I know what you mean about the butter - you can always spot my favorite recipes in a cookbook immediately! LOL! Your B'stilla is lovely, but, I'm even more impressed with your Joconde (is that right?)!

  6. Unmolding such a large pie can be so nervewrecking. Glad it came out so well!

  7. Cute post. That flip was unnerving! This dish definitely gave me a yen for baklava...lucky you!

  8. Beautiful post...your pie turned out perfectly. I was amazed at how well this large dish held together.

  9. Glad that you had luck with this! :) mmm baklava!

  10. This sounds absolutely divine! Of course, that's true of pretty much anything involving phyllo dough - but this sounds ESPECIALLY divine.