One of my favorite “oh wow” food moments at culinary school was trying a North African dish called bisteeya. This traditional meal is a pie made by wrapping layers of phyllo dough around a filling of meat or vegetables that has been heavily seasoned with spices like cinnamon, turmeric, or sumac. The finishing touch – a dusting of powdered sugar – makes it into a surprisingly delicious sweet and savory dish.
This Dinner Deal brings the warm flavors and textures of bisteeya to your table with a recipe that’s fun and simple to make and uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The sweet dried apricots and very aromatic blend of spices that season the filling are a great way to add variety to your weeknight meals while giving your family the chance to try something new.
Moroccan Spiced Chicken Pie
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Salt and ground black pepper
2 rounds prepared pie dough
1 egg, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the pie dough and egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
3. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface and roll one round of pie dough out onto it. Spread the chicken mixture onto the pie dough leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.
4. Roll out the second piece of pie dough, and place it over the chicken mixture. Gently press the edges of the pie dough together and crimp them together to seal the pie. Brush the entire surface of the pie with the beaten egg and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5. Using the paper for leverage, slide the assembled pie onto a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling has heated through, about 40 minutes.
6. Cool the finished pie for 5 minutes before slicing and serving warm.
Note: You could also easily make this meal into individual hand pies. Simply unroll the rounds of pie dough, and cut each of them into four quarters (8 wedges total). Spoon the filling onto the wedges, and fold the cut sides over each other to form a triangle. Press the edges together to seal and crimp them with the tines of a fork. Brush the hand pies with the beaten egg and bake as directed.
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