Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicken B'stilla

A great adventure with a split decision on the results !  Nana and I each made the chicken this week, and while we both enjoyed the opportunity to try a recipe that we would honestly not have picked for ourselves...only one of us would make it again :)  Read on to find out who......

PS- we are so grateful to have been nominated for a "Stylish Blogger" award by our frequent (and HILARIOUS) visitor -Cher. She is a member of French Fridays and we look forward to her posts each week -she keeps it real but makes it so fun and entertaining, like you are in the kitchen with a great friend.  

As part of the award, we are to list 7 things that are unknown about us and then nominate 15 blogs that we love. I think this is a really cool idea, but am going to have to come back to this assignment (after conferring with Nana) or else I will miss the "Dorie Deadline" :)  Thanks Cher !

Per Tricia:

I had to travel to Washington on business this week and then stayed even longer due to the snow storm. I was actually hoping to not be cooking a recipe on Friday for once, and thank goodness Nana hooked me up to get going when I got home Thursday night.  Because this was NOT the recipe to do at the last minute.  Luckily, Nana had the prep work all done for me when I got home -she got me the chicken, Phyllo and even sent over the spices I was separate little containers all labeled for me. This gesture really helped me start out the adventure on the right foot. Nothing like having a Mom around to help, no matter how old you are !

Even though I knew there were many steps, this truly did turn out to be more of a production than I would have thought.  It was interesting throughout, between using the ingredients that were either new or used in a new way and the aroma was delightful.  Son #2 had "made weight" for wrestling and kept calling down to find out "when the good stuff"  (as in not what I had actually served for dinner.....) would be ready.  Son #1 was still trying to "make weight" and declared that it smelled "so amazing" that he needed to leave the kitchen. In fact the whole first floor.  I reminded him I would make the Rostang chocolate cake when wrestling was over.

The recipe was time consuming in that the various stages - marinate, etc, had to occur for a while each.  Since I was doing it all in one shot, I really could not start any major other projects it truly felt like I was in the kitchen FOREVER.

The first "scary" part was when I had to mix the egg/honey mixture into the hot bouillion.  I had visions of Chinese egg drop soup and scrambled eggs.  I literally announced to the kitchen that I was scared as I whisked like heck.  Luckily no egg drop soup.  Unluckily, not thickening any time soon.  Which was about the time the trip home from DC hit me and the recipe seemed to drag on.  After 8 or so minutes I threw in some flour and that helped- but it still never got very thick.  My end result had too much liquid and the liquid was too thin.  I should have limited myself to the one cup that Dorie referred to but I tested it using an estimate and simply used the final reduction amount.

The next scary part was the Phyllo.  Nana got me the "good stuff" and went to Wegmans. I only ever used Pepperidge Farm and theirs was way easier to figure out what a sheet is.  I didn't even realize there was a problem till I had the whole thing made and was getting ready to put on the top.  The next piece of Phyllo was way bigger and I panicked.  I actually decided to invert what I had onto a plate, stuff down more Phyllo and throw it back in there.  Truthfully, this should have flopped at this point because this was a truly dumb idea....but I got luckily and the chicken "glob" actually retained it shape.

I have to say that by the time I got the top on, buttered it and added the cinnamon mouth was all but watering.  The aroma as it cooked was out of this world.  Very fragrant due to the spices.

Scary part #3 was when the thing of beauty came out of the oven.  I re-read several times that I was truly supposed to invert it for presentation (and to save my non stick cake pan from the knife....) This is when my beautiful and crispy Phyllo got soggy and I got hot liquid on the counter.  It was also the second time I had to ask my amused husband to jump in and help me.  I am a big fan of crispy anything so I was truly disappointed when the top got soggy. 

My husband, younger son and I each tried it.  My son said it was absolutely fantastic.  He loved it and ate a huge helping.  My husband said that it was ok, good - but that he was simply expecting more flavor.  I agree with him and was not a fan.  But this is also because the aroma and look of the dish as it came out of the oven were spectacular.  And after 4 + hours in the kitchen for a 9" cake pan worth of food....I needed "spectacular" in order to make it again. 

So I had a blast but will not be revisting this part of the book......

Per Nana:

I decided to do this recipe in two parts. 

Yesterday I marinated the chicken thighs for about 1 hour and then cooked them until tender.  I used boneless chicken thighs from Costco which are really very meaty.  Once they were cool enough to handle they were easy to pull apart.

I was not too sure about adding the honey/egg mixture to the hot strained chicken broth, but with the continued whisking, the sauce turned out well.

I added the chicken and onions to this mixture and thought how wonderful this might be with a little couscous on the side.

Today I worked with the filo dough which was tricky.  You really have to work fast because it dries so quickly.  All turned out well, and the end result was fantastic.

The dish is quite filling and very tasty.  We had a little Chutney on the side as well as a nice mixed salad.

It was declared a winner at our house, and I do plan to do this one again.


  1. Glad it worked out! I agree that both the phyllo and the flip were scary.
    The teamwork on getting this out was great! (And thank you for the kind words)

  2. Both of these look really good! I was a bit wary of the "flip" too, so I did mine in a springform.

  3. Tricia & Nana, I love reading your adventures. Anyway I can get Nana to prep for me too??? I actually loved this dish and will make it again as soon as I can face playing with filo again.