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Chicken Bastilla Alger Style
05:07:22 PM Wednesday Sep 9, 2009

Sahha ramdankoum tout le monde! Sorry for the long absence. I feel quite disconnected with my internet situation over here (or lack thereof..) but the less said on the subject the better for my blood pressure level ;o))

Here's an interesting suggestion, not a full recipe since I don't have my notes in front of me, but a simple suggestion. I'm not sure if this is a commonly prepared version of chicken bastilla, or if it truly is "bastilla a l'algerienne" as my cousin Sana calls it.

The idea is pretty basic: prepare the chicken in a "marqa bayda" - white sauce, with onion, cinnamon stick, white pepper, and a twig of dry z3itra (not sure what that's called in english: thyme? or oregano? it's def not the middle eastern "za3tar" which is a green mix that includes sesame and is salty.)

Use "dyoul" or the type of flat dough sheets you use for veggie spring rolls (yes you can use the Asian kind sold in the states, no prob).

When cooked, shred the chicken by hand, mix with a bit of the onion but w/out the sauce, and mix in some chopped parsley. Not sure what else we put in the mix to be honest, but do your usual chicken mix thing that you'd normally put in bastilla.

Layer the dyoul (brush each layer with butter/smen) six or seven sheets on bottom, four or five on top.

Throw in your chicken mix. Layer more sheets on top. Brush each sheet and of course the face with butter/smen.

Bake maybe 15-20 mins. Not too long, remember your mix inside is already cooked.

When it's cooked, instead of putting powdered sugar/cinnamon on top, pour the remainder of your chicken broth over the dough and serve with extra sauce on hand for those who like it nicely drenched (i.e. yours truly).

Ok, so that's the quick and dirty version. I'll have to check the recipe in my notes when I get home and see if I forgot anything. But try it!

And tell me if you guys often make it this way. Sortev an easier version of homey bastilla if you will.

Happy fasting!!

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9:23 am    October 26, 2009

hudhud message
good question.. z3itra here is basically like italian oregano..

za3tar in middle eastern arabic is this delicious mix of dried herbs and spices, a bit salty, with sesame in it too.. not sure what exactly the mix is composed of other than that..


8:40 am    September 14, 2009

Rasta Gnawi message
Sounds like a good dish, especially at 10:30 in the morning during Ramadan :)

3:03 pm    September 11, 2009

Salem message
Nice to see you here again Hudhud, and thank you for the recipe. I had never heard of the white sauce before, don't know if it is so called in Morocco. I know there is actually a difference between Za3tar and Z3itra. Z3itra seems to be stronger!.

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