Moroccan chicken bastilla (from Chef Toub: Tasty Arabic)

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Mounir Toub believes that Arab cuisine does not get the credit it deserves. He changes that with his book Chef Toub: Lekker Arabic . This cool cookbook is full of tasty and easy recipes that prove that Arabic cuisine is more than falafel and hummus. One of those recipes is this tasty chicken bastilla.


For 4 persons:

Filling 1

  • Oil for frying
  • 500 grams chicken thigh fillets, skinless
  • 4 large onions, sliced ​​in half rings
  • 2 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • ½ bunch fresh coriander, washed, dried and finely chopped
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, washed, dried and finely chopped
  • 1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and peel into strips
  • 5 dates, halved, pit removed and finely chopped
  • 50 grams of raisins
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon smen (to prepare yourself, for recipe see book)

Filling 2

  • 70 grams of white almonds
  • 70 grams of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water

Other ingredients

  • 1 pack baklava dough (14 sheets)
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 100 ml sunflower oil icing sugar for garnish cinnamon for garnish

Extra needed

  • Baking tray
  • baking paper
  • food processor
  • Saucepan
  • 35 cm skillet with lid
  • brush
  • whisk

Arab bastilla is a typical Moroccan royal meal that used to be prepared with pigeon instead of chicken. And for the enthusiast: this dish is perfect to eat with your hands.

And a tip from Mounir: “Eat the bastilla right away. The longer it rests, the less crispy the dough becomes.” Let’s not say that twice.

Enough said, into the kitchen!

bastilla with chicken

This is how you make chicken bastilla à la Mounir

You can take some time to make the chicken bastilla. The preparation takes about 30 minutes. You also need 1 hour to prepare the recipe, 1 hour to wait and 15 minutes of baking time.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

For filling 2, fry the white almonds in a layer of oil until golden brown and drain well and cool on a paper. Put them in a food processor, add the sugar and grind them fine. Season with the orange blossom water.

Unfold the baklava dough sheets and cut them into quarters. Stack them on top of each other and wrap them in a clean dry kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. Heat the butter and oil while stirring.


For filling 1, heat some oil in a pan and fry the chicken thigh fillets and onion over a low heat until golden brown. Add the ginger powder, cinnamon and some salt and pepper and fry the spices for 1 minute.

Deglaze with the chicken stock and add the coriander and parsley. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour over low heat, until the chicken thighs are fully cooked.

Remove them from the pan and let the stock reduce by half. Add the lemon zest, dates and raisins and bind the sauce with the eggs by stirring them in one at a time.

Add the smen and let the sauce cook for 3 minutes on low heat and then cool. Tear the cooked and cooled chicken thighs into strips and add them to the sauce.


Brush one sheet of baklava dough with the butter-oil mixture, place a second sheet on top and brush that too. Place the candied almonds in the middle.

Place another sheet of baklava dough on top and brush with the butter oil mixture. Spoon the cooled chicken mixture on top. Fold the sides in and brush again with the butter oil mixture.

When the chicken mixture is well wrapped, turn the bastilla over and place it folded side down on the baking sheet.

Brush the top of the bastilla with the butter oil mixture and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Serve the bastilla by placing it on a plate and dusting generously with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Source: Culy by
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