Moroccan Chicken Basteeya

Prep Time:
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 6

Basteeya (or pastilla) is sweet and savoury pie wrapped in a phyllo-type pastry that is popular in Moroccan cuisine. It’s an excellent way to use up leftover chicken.


2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) hot pepper flakes
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) saffron threads
2 cups (500 mL) shredded dark meat
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken broth
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped green olives
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) each salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup (60 mL) whole toasted almonds
1 tbsp (15 mL) icing sugar
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon
8 phyllo sheets
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, melted


1 Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat; cook onion for about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic, ginger, hot pepper flakes and saffron; cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in chicken, chicken broth, apricots, olives, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Let cool completely; discard cinnamon stick.
2 Whisk together eggs, cilantro and parsley; stir into chicken mixture. Set aside. In food processor, combine almonds, icing sugar and cinnamon; pulse until finely chopped. 
3 Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease 9-inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate. Brush 1 sheet of phyllo with butter (keep remaining phyllo covered with damp tea towel to prevent it from drying out); top with another sheet of phyllo. Repeat to make 4 layers. Place layered phyllo in centre of pie plate, pressing to fit. Scrape chicken filling over phyllo; fold corners toward centre of pie (phyllo should not cover filling completely).
4 Drape sheet of phyllo over filling; brush with butter and sprinkle with some of the almond mixture. Repeat layers with remaining phyllo, butter and almond mixture. Carefully tuck edges into pie plate, under bottom layers of phyllo.
5 Bake for about 30 minutes or until very golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.