Moroccan-Style Chicken Parcels

Based on the famous pastilla, individual filo parcels are filled with a mixture of cooked chicken, eggs, dried fruit, sugar and spices in an intriguing and subtle combination. Miniature versions make excellent hors d’oeuvres.

Ingredients

  • 750 g ( lbs) cooked free-range or organic chicken, off the bone, diced very small or shredded
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 200 mls (7 oz) strong chicken stock
  • 150 g (5 oz) butter, melted
  • 18 sheets of filo pastry, about 15 cm. (6 inches) square
  • 75-1OO g (3-4 oz) golden granulated sugar
  • 100 g (4 oz) flaked almonds, fried gently in butter
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 150 g (5 oz) chopped dried fruit, such as apricots, prunes, peaches or pears, or a mixture
  • 50 g (2 oz) pickled lemons, chopped – optional
  • 2 teaspoons each cardamom, cumin and coriander seeds, crushed toasted almonds, black olives, fresh mint leaves – for garnish

Method

Beat the eggs with the stock, and cook gently in a non-stick frying pan, as if you were making scrambled eggs. When the mixture has thickened slightly, remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool. Stir in the chicken and add the rest of the ingredients.

Stack up the filo squares, brushing each of them with melted butter. To make one parcel, take three squares, laying one on top of the other at an angle. Spoon some of the filling into the middle, and dampen the pastry around the edges. Draw into the centre and pinch together to make a bundle. Alternatively, fold the filo into envelope or cigar shapes.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, and serve hot, warm or cold, decorated with the olives, almonds and mint leaves.

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