Yield 4 people


For the meat filling

For the almond sugar

For the Pastry


Step 1: Prepare the chicken mixture

  1. Marinate chicken in ginger, pepper, paprika, salt, and 2 tbsp. olive oil for at least 4 hours.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in a pan, then add the chicken thighs and sear until brown on both sides.
  3. Next up, add your onions and let them sweat in the pan.
  4. As your onions start to soften, add your cinnamon stick, saffron, cilantro, and butter. Stir and simmer covered over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Be sure not to overcook the chicken to keep the meat moist (you may want to use a meat thermometer here)
  5. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside until it's cool enough to handle. Also, you'll want to remove the cinnamon stick and discard.
  6. Meanwhile, add your honey into the pan and caramelize the onions as they turn into a jam-like consistency. As you start to see excess oil forming, spoon it out of the pan and set it aside for brushing the pastry later. 
  7. As the onions cook down and the jam forms, debone and chop your cooled chicken thighs. Try to slice them into small uniform sizes to keep the pie from breaking apart when you're slicing pieces of it.
  8. Return your chopped chicken into the pan and stir together with the onions. Add in your beaten eggs and cook over low heat until slightly thickened. Keep stirring over low heat to keep the eggs from curdling and turning out like scrambled eggs.
  9. Finally, mix the oil from the pan with ¼ cup clarified butter, then set your bastilla filling aside.

Step 2: Prepare the pastry

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375F.
  2. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan with the oil and butter mixture. The ingredient quantities above worked perfectly for a 9-inch pie.
  3. Lay 5-6 sheets of phyllo in the pan, going clockwise and slightly overlapping, brushing each sheet generously with the oil and butter mixture.
  4. Next, spread chicken mixture inside the pan.
  5. Fold overhanging phyllo towards the top and center of the pan to close the pie, then brush the top with oil and butter mixture.
  6. Put your bastilla in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes.
  7. After half an hour, take the pie out of the oven and turn it over onto a rimless baking sheet.
  8. Brush the top with more of the oil and butter mixture and bake for another 15 minutes. 

Step 3: After Baking

  1. Combine powdered sugar, slivered almonds, and cinnamon powder in a food processor. Blitz everything together until you get an easy to spread grainy powder mixture.
  2. Take your bastilla out of the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes.
  3. Once it's cool, turn it over and dust the top with the almond sugar. Enjoy!

Courses Entree

Cuisine Moroccan

Recipe by Arousing Appetites: Home to the Serious Cook at