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RECIPES: Chicken Pastilla

A few weeks ago we shared the wonderful Moroccan cooking class that Emma, her sister Caroline and mum Bonnie took part in. Today, WLT Contributor Caroline Clapham shares the beautiful recipes that they made from the cooking class at Cafe Clock.

Chicken Pastilla (makes 4 large pastillas)

The Moroccan equivalent of the Australian meat pie! With a light flaky pastry encasing a perfectly balanced sweet/savoury chicken filling, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Caroline XO


- 1 whole chicken

- 2 tbs sea-salt

- 1 whole lemon

- Juice of 1 lemon

- 2 white onions, roughly chopped

- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

- 5 cups water

- 1 tsp tumeric powder

- 1 tsp ground ginger

- ½ tsp pepper

- 2 tsp ground coriander

- 1 tsp ground cinnamon

- 3 pinches of saffron

- ½ a preserved lemon (roughly chopped0

- 6 eggs

- 4 sheets of filo pastry

- Almond Paste*

- Rose Water*


1. Clean the chicken well and rub with sea salt. Cut one of your lemons in half and rub over the chicken, then squeeze any remaining juice from that lemon over as well.

2. Put the onions, garlic, the juice of your other lemon and 1 cup of water into a blender and whizz until it forms a puree.

3. Add the spices and preserved lemon to your onion puree and mix  together – this forms the marinade for your chicken.

4. Rinse the salt off the chicken and place it into a large pot.

5. Cover the chicken with the marinade mixture and add 4 cups of water to the pot so that the chicken is immersed (add more water if you need to) cover with a lid.

6. Cook on the stove top over a medium heat for 2 hours with the lid on (check occasionally and add more water if the chicken looks to be drying out).

7. After 2 hours remove the chicken and allow to cool.

8. The marinade and water should have combined to form a sauce.

9. Continue to cook the sauce over a medium-to high heat for a further 5-10 minutes to reduce it.

10. Crack 3 of your eggs into the sauce, one at a time, stirring vigorously after the addition of each one, allow the sauce to cook for another 5 minutes and then repeat the process again with the remaining 3 eggs.

11. Pour the sauce/egg mixture into a colander to drain (you don’t want any excess water as this will make your pastillas soggy)

12. Now that the chicken has cooled shred the chicken meat, discarding the chicken carcass.

13. Take 1 sheet of filo pastry, place a handful of shredded chicken, a couple of tbp of the sauce/egg mix, a few pinches of almond paste and a drop of rose water (if available) on the top third of the pastry, leaving large enough edges to fold into a square shaped parcel (refer to the images).

14. Drizzle with olive oil.

15. Bake in an oven at 200C for 15-20minutes or until golden brown.

* Both almond paste and rose water are available at specialty supermarkets and can be omitted from the recipe if not available. Almond paste is a sweet soft paste similar to marzipan.

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