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  Added: Apr 11, 2006  •  Visited (559)  •  Print version Print this recipe (53)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
 
Flaky Pigeon Pie
(Bastila)
What You Need:
  • 4 one-pound oven-ready pigeons, with wing tips removed, or substitute 4 one-pound squab chickens
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ quarter-pound sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • The pigeon or chicken hearts, gizzards and livers, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads or ground saffron
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1½ cups blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 18 malsouqua, or substitute 10 sheets filo pastry (see Glossary), each about 16 inches long and 12 inches wide, thoroughly defrosted if frozen
  • 8 tablespoons (1 quarter-pound stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter combined with 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar combined with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

  • How To Cook:
    1. Pat the birds thoroughly dry inside and out with paper towels and sprinkle the cavities and skin with ½ teaspoon of salt and a few grin dings of pepper. In a heavy 12-inch skillet, melt 8 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat.

    2. When the foam begins to subside, brown the pigeons in the hot fat, turning them frequently with tongs or a slotted spoon and regulating the heat so they color richly and evenly on all sides without burning. As they brown, transfer the birds to a plate.

    3. Add the onions and the pigeon or chicken hearts, gizzards and livers to the fat remaining in the skillet and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

    4. Stir in the coriander, parsley, ginger, cumin, red pepper, turmeric, saffron and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Add the cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

    5. Then return the birds aqd the liquid that has accumulated around them to the skillet, and reduce the heat to low.

    6. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the birds are tender and show no resistance when a thigh is pierced deeply with the point of a small knife.

    7. Transfer the birds to a platter and, when they are cool enough to handle, with a sharp knife remove and discard the skin and bones. Cut the meat into strips about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide.

    8. Pour 1½ cups of the sauce remaining in the skillet into a bowl and set aside. Bring the rest of the sauce to a boil over high heat and, stirring from time to time, cook briskly until it is reduced to about 4 tablespoons of glaze.

    9. As the fat rises to the surface of the boiling sauce, skim it off with a spoon and discard it. With a rubber spatula, scrape the glaze into a small bowl and return the reserved 1½ cups of sauce to the skillet.

    10. Beat the eggs and egg yolks with a whisk or fork until they are combined, but do not overbeat them. Stirring the sauce in the skillet constantly, pour in the eggs and cook over moderate heat until the mixture forms soft, creamy curds.

    11. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the glaze. Taste for seasoning and set aside.Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over moderate heat.

    12. When the foam begins to subside, add the almonds and, stirring frequently, fry them for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly and evenly browned.

    13. Drain the almonds on paper towels, then chop them coarsely. In a small bowl, combine the chopped almonds, 2 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon.

    14. To assemble the bastila with mal souqua, arrange 6 of the pastries on a flat surface, overlapping them in a large circle, then top with 6 more, overlapping as before.

    15. Stack 4 more pastries in the center. (To assemble the pie with filo, overlap 6 sheets of filo in a circle, fold 2 sheets in half and place them one atop the other in the center of the circle.)

    16. Sprinkle the almond-sugar-and-cinnamon mixture in a 9-inch-wide circle in the center of the pastry and spread it with half of the egg-sauce mixture.

    17. Top this with strips of pigeon or chicken meat arranged in one layer and cover with the remaining egg-sauce mixture.

    18. With a pastry brush, coat the exposed borders of the pastry lightly with the melted butter.

    19. One at a time, bring the 6 intermediate circles of malsouqua or 2 folded sheets of filo up over the filling, brushing each again with butter as you proceed.

    20. Top the center of the pie with 2 more circles of malsouqua or folded sheets of filo, and bring up the bottom layer of malsouqua or filo to enclose the pie.

    21. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, carefully slide in the bastila and fry it for 2 or 3 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.

    22. With the aid of a wide spatula, slide the bastila onto a plate. Place a second plate upside down over the bastila and, grasping both plates firmly together, invert them. Slide the bastila back into the skillet and brown the other side for 2 or 3 minutes.

    23. Transfer the bastila to a heated platter and sprinkle it with the sugar-and-cinnamon mixture. Cut it into wedges and serve at once.
     
    Serving Size: 4 to 6
     This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Africa » Morocco
    Main Ingredient » Meat & Poultry » Pigeon
    Main Ingredient » Nuts » Almond
    Main Ingredient » Dairy » Butter
    Dish » Pie & Tart

     





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