B’stilla is an extraordinary Moroccan pie of lemony chicken and herbs encased in filo pastry and dusted with sweet, seductive cinnamon and icing sugar. The original version is rich and heavy with butter, but I have lightened it considerably. The chic stencilled pattern of cinnamon and icing sugar is done through a good old-fashioned paper doily, but don’t tell anyone, and they’ll think you trained in Marrakesh.
Rub chicken pieces with chermoula, and leave to marinate overnight. Transfer chicken and chermoula to a large pot and add boiling water and saffron. Cover and simmer for one hour, skimming occasionally, until chicken is tender. Strain liquid into a saucepan and boil until liquid is reduced to around
Mix chicken, parsley, lemon rind and reduced liquid, and set aside. Mix icing sugar, cinnamon and ground almonds and set aside.
Heat oven to 180°C (350°F). Brush one sheet of filo pastry with melted butter, lay another sheet on top, brush it with melted butter and continue until you have 6 sheets. Dust with
Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon, through a doily if you admit to having one, and serve at the table, cut into wedges.
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