Moroccan pastilla


  • 4–6 boneless chicken thighs (about 750g)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger,  ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp turmeric, pinch of saffron
  • 500ml Macphie Plant-based Demi-Glace
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 75g ground almonds or pistachios
  • 75g dried dates, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water & 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 6 large slices of filo pastry
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Method Makes 1 pastilla (serves 4-6)

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and fry skin-side down, until crisped up and brown. Turn and cook for 2 minutes, remove from the pan. Add butter to the pan and when melted, add the onions and fry gently until soft. Add garlic and spices and fry for a couple more minutes

  2. Put the chicken in the pan, pour in the stock and Macphie Plant-based Demi-Glace. Season, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes (until the chicken is tender). Remove the chicken and set aside. When cool enough to handle, finely chop the meat – it’s up to you whether you keep the skin or not. Put the liquid back over the heat and reduce it by half

  3. Add the eggs to the cooking liquid and continue to cook over a low heat until you have a mixture that resembles loose scrambled eggs. Add the ground nuts and stir, then add the dates, orange blossom water, zest and finally, the chicken. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool

  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. To assemble the pie, you need a large ovenproof dish about 28cm in diameter

  5. Take a sheet of filo pastry and brush it with melted butter. Drape it over the dish, making sure it is gently pushed into the corners without any tearing. Repeat with another sheet of filo, this time placing it at a right angle to the first. Repeat with a further 2 sheets of filo, this time placing them on the diagonal

  6. Spread the filling over the pastry. Fold over the overhanging pieces of filo in reverse order – they should just about cover the filling. Take the remaining 2 pieces of filo and cut them to fit the dish. Brush them with butter, then cover the pie, tucking under any corners. Bake the pie in the oven for about 30 minutes until the pastry is a crisp, golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before dusting it with the icing sugar and cinnamon