Moroccan Chicken Pastilla

This Moroccan chicken pastilla is a pure marvel! It’s made in three layers  The first layer has an onion sauce made with fine herbs (parsley and coriander/cilantro), saffron and cinnamon! The second layer has the chicken that is cooked into the onion sauce! And the third layer has a generous quantity of almonds that are perfumed with orange blossom and cinnamon! It’s quite delicate and sprinkling on top some confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon gives it a slight salty and sweet character that suits it very well! Give it a try, it worth the effort and certainly the detour!

In two words:

“You are beautiful, oh dear friend, full of gentleness, you are beautiful as Jerusalem, and terrible as a line of army ready for battle”.

To Start...

difficulty a bit of technique is required
preparation10’ (for the veggies) + 15’ (for the almonds) + 20’ (for building the pastilla)
cooking - 20’ (for the chicken) + 20’ (for the veggies) + 20’ (in the oven)
serves - 4  


for the chicken and the veggies (onion sauce)

  • 2 onions medium size
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of fleur de sel or coarse salt
  • 10 turn mills of black Kampot pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of saffron in powder
  • ½ bouquet of parsley
  • ¼ bouquet of fresh coriander (or cilantro)
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • 2 large eggs

for the almonds

  • 150gr of almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of orange blossom
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar

for the pastilla

  • 9 brik pastry sheets
  • 50gr of butter for the bottom part of the pastilla
  • 20gr of butter for the upper part of the pastilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
  • a bit of cinnamon


for the chicken and the veggies (onion sauce)

  • Peel and wash the onions
  • Wash and dry the herbs
  • Chisel finely the herbs and place them into a dish
  • Chisel finely the onions and place it into a dish
  • Slice the chicken into small dices
  • Heat-up a pan
  • Add the onion and stir constantly until it loses its humidity a bit and starts to shine
  • Add the olive oil and continue to stir
  • Add the chicken and stir in with the onion
  • Add the herbs and stir
  • Add the saffron and the cinnamon stick
  • Stir everything together
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Add some water until it covers up the chicken
  • Let it simmer in medium-low heat for 20’ to cook the chicken
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from heat into a dish, and remove the cinnamon stick as well
  • Continue to cook the veggies in medium-low heat until there is no more water
  • Beat the eggs into an omelet
  • Start adding the eggs little by little in low heat
  • Stir constantly to avoid the creation of an omelet
  • Remove from heat and let it cool
  • Break the chicken into almost crumbs with your fingers (once cold)

for the almonds

  • Boil some water into a casserole
  • Add the almonds
  • Cook for 3’
  • Remove from heat and drain
  • Let them cool a little
  • Use you index and you thumb to rub them and remove their skin
  • At this point, if you like, you can cook them in a little bit of butter; if you do so, let them cook again
  • Chop the almonds in rough pieces with a knife
  • Add them into a bowl
  • Pour on top the orange blossom, the sugar and the cinnamon
  • Toss everything together and stir with a spoon
  • Put aside

to bring everything together

  • Cover a circle of 13cm diameter and 5cm height with butter
  • Cover with butter a part of a tray going into the oven and place on top the circle
  • Preheat the oven at 180°C
  • Melt the butter for the bottom part of the pastilla
  • Use a cooking brush to spread the butter all over the first brick pastry sheet
  • Place the sheet into the circle by keeping the buttery part on top
  • Spread the butter to the next sheet and place it into the circle
  • Continue with the rest of the sheets and butter up 5 sheets in total
  • Butter up a 6th sheet and fold it in two
  • Place it in the circle and with a scissors cut the exceedance of dough on the sides; you need to consolidate the bottom of the pastilla
  • Add the mix of veggies
  • Add on top the chicken broken into crumbs
  • Press everything together
  • Add on top the layer of almonds and press well
  • Bring towards the center of the mold all the sheets that are outside of it and press well
  • Melt the butter for the upper part of the pastilla
  • Spread some butter on the 7th sheet of brik pastry
  • With a scissors cut off a disk by removing 3cm on the edge
  • Place this disk onto the almonds, with the buttery side on top, and press the sheet well into the mold to cover up the almonds and the bottom sheets
  • Spread some butter on top of the 8th sheet of brik pastry and form a disk as before
  • Place the disk on top of the mold and press the edges into the mold to cover well the filling
  • Do the same thing for the 9th sheet and keep some melted butter for the egg wash
  • Beat the egg yolk with the remaining butter
  • Use a cooking brush to spread the egg wash on top of the pastilla
  • Cook for 20’
  • Stir the confectioner’s sugar with a little bit of cinnamon
  • Once the pastilla is cooked, let it cool a little bit, and sprinkle on top some of the mix with confectioner’ sugar and cinnamon
  • It’s delicious :-)
  • Enjoy!


The recipe of the chicken pastilla into the book M’Barek Imen, Les spécialités marocaines, Maison Yamama, p. 16.

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

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