Pastilla

Parcel filled with layers of chicken & almond in sweet & savoury cinnamon & orange blossom sauce. Makes one large pie for 4–6 people, or you can create individual ones.

3 tbsp olive oil
4 onions, diced
400g chicken legs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 tsp granulated sugar
salt & pepper to taste
200g blanched almonds
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp orange blossom water
spring roll pastry sheets

The chicken mixture
In a casserole dish heat up 2 tbsp oil, add the onion and sweat until soft and transparent. Add the chicken, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Add the parsley and coriander, plus a small cup of water. Mix well, cover and bring gently to the boil for a few minutes.

Add more cold water to cover the chicken. Put the lid back on and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the sugar and the cinnamon and mix well. Remove the lid and cook for a further 10 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The almond mixture
Heat up 1 tspb of oil and lightly fry the almonds until they’re a light golden colour. Place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Place the almonds in a food processor. Add sugar and cinnamon. Roughly chop the mixture, then add orange blossom water. Mix well.

When the meat is cooked, remove the chicken legs from the dish. Transfer them to a plate and remove all the bones. Then put the meat back into the casserole dish, take the lid off and reduce the sauce to a third of the original volume. Cool the chicken mixture and then leave to rest.

To assemble the pastilla
Separate the spring roll pastry sheets and keep wrapped to avoid drying.

Brush the bottom side of a deep tart dish with oil or melted butter. Brush few sheets of the pastry with oil. The number of sheets required will depend on the size of the tart dish.

In the dish place one sheet of pastry at the bottom, then place four sheets on the edges of the dish overlapping so that it covers the bottom of the dish, but half of each leaf should be overhanging the edge. This will be used to wrap the filling later.

Pour on half of the almond mix and spread evenly.

Place one sheet of pastry on top of the almond mix and press down. Place most of the chicken mixture on top and spread evenly, leaving 1cm round the edge. Include the juice from the chicken, and don’ t worry if it spills out a little.

Place two sheets of pastry on top. Add the remainder of the almond mixture, and the rest of chicken.

Turn up the overlapping sides of the pastry leaves, sealing them together in the centre with a little beaten egg yolk. Brush with beaten egg yolk and milk, to form a glazed pie.

Bake in a hot oven (220C) for 20–30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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