Chicken Bastilla is Morocco's famous chicken pie.  A light, crispy pastry shell conceals savory saffron chicken, spicy omelet stuffing, and a crunchy topping of roasted almonds/pistachios/and raisins . Bastilla can be made a day or more in advance, and refrigerate or freeze until baking time.  The ultimate for an interesting Iftar to enjoy with friends and family!



Recipe Card (to serve 6 pax)

Ingredients  Quantity
For the Chicken
Chicken, skin and fat removed (cut into pieces)  1 large
Sweet white onions (chopped)  2 large
Ground Ginger 1 tbsp
Salt 2 tsp
White pepper 1 1/2 tsp
Black pepper 1 tsp
Turmeric 1 tsp
Saffron threads 1 tsp
Cinnamon (2-3 inches each) 2 to 3 sticks
Unsalted butter 1/4 cup
Olive oil 1/4 cup (plus more for frying and the pan)
For the Egg Stuffing
Fresh cilantro (chopped) 1/4 cup
Eggs (beaten) 8
Cheddar Cheese (grated) 200 gm
Thickened cream 100 gm
For the nut topping
Roasted almonds, chopped 2 tbsp
Raisins 2 tbsp
Roasted pistachio, chopped 2 tbsp
Unsalted butter (melted) 1/4 cup
For the Dough
Unsalted butter (melted) 1/2 cup
Phyllo dough 6 sheets
egg yolk (beaten) 1
Olive oil
For the Garnish 
Zaatar As required
Sumac As required


Method of Preparation: 

For the Chicken 

  • Mix chicken with onion, spices, butter, and oil in an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven covered, for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is very tender and falls off the bone. Do not add water, and be careful not to burn the chicken or the sauce as this will ruin the dish.
  • Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, and reduce the sauce in the pot until most of the liquids have evaporated and the onions form a mass in the oil. Stir occasionally, and adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Remove the cinnamon sticks.
  • While the sauce is reducing and the chicken is still warm, pick the meat off the bones, breaking it into 2-inch pieces. Place in a bowl and stir in several spoonfuls of the onion mixture; cover the meat and set aside.

For the Egg Stuffing

  • Transfer the remaining reduced onions and oil to a large non-stick skillet. Add the cilantro, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beaten eggs, and cook to creamy scrambled eggs. Set the egg stuffing aside.
  • For the nut topping.  Mix  the melted butter with the nuts and set aside.

Assemble the Bastilla

  • Generously oil a 10 inch round  tart pan and shape a circular pie.
  • Brush melted butter on each sheet of phyllo dough.
  • Using the pan as a guide, place double layers of phyllo dough—in a circular fashion, so that the inner halves of the pastry dough overlap in the center, and the excess dough drapes over the edges of the pan. Butter each layer of dough. This forms the bottom of the pie.
  • Cover the 8 - inch circle with the chicken filling, top with the cream and the cheese and distribute the egg stuffing over the chicken.
  • Spread the nut topping over this layer.
  • Fold the excess dough up and over the nuts to enclose the pie. Flatten and smooth any bulky areas.
  • Brush butter on the folded edges of dough, and top with 3 more overlapping layers of phyllo, brushing butter on each layer. Fold down the edges of dough and carefully tuck them underneath the pie, molding and shaping the bastilla.
  • Spread the egg yolk over the top and sides of the pie. Lightly oil the bastilla in the same manner.
  • The bastilla is now ready for baking, or it can be covered in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Bake the Bastilla

  • Preheat the oven to (180 C). Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Note that a bastilla placed in the oven directly from the freezer will take up to 1 hour to bake.
  • Generously coat the bastilla with Zaatar, sumac, grated cheese and the nut topping . Serve immediately.


Chef Sabeen Fareed 

An Innovative Patissier, certified and trained in hospitality, commercial cookery & patisserie. Her experience extends in the culinary realm, working with ICCA DUBAI for the past 5 years, whereby managing Executive lunch buffets, exotic high tea and Menu development are also to tag a few.

She owns a charismatic style and finesse in fine dining, and in the art of pastry making, designing and presentation. Certified in Gelato making, she is also well versed in Gelateria Management skills. Her proficiency and knowledge includes holding a Masters Certificate in Sugar crafting, working and incorporating that art and talent along with other techniques in pastry.

Has also been involved in culinary training and worked as a pastry chef instructor at the International Center for Culinary Arts Dubai, connecting with and coaching individuals sharing the same passion. She has also contributed her expertise in her culinary career in areas that includes menu planning, cost control and analysis, and staffing.