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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Sweet and savory, crispy and meltingly tender bestilla

By JeanMarie Brownson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Sometimes one dish haunts you for your whole life. Thirty years ago the wife of the Moroccan Consulate General in Chicago shared her recipe for bestilla with the recipe testers at Cuisine magazine and told us the ins and outs of her country's most beloved dish. Layers of handmade, paper-thin dough encased tender shredded poultry in a highly seasoned herb and egg filling, crispy almonds and a touch of cinnamon sugar. To this day, we remember the lesson, the aromas and the flavors.


We've had a few good versions in restaurants. Each time, the combination of sweet and savory, crispy and meltingly tender persuades us to cook our own.


But busy lives mean little time to spend a whole day in the kitchen. The answer lies in a less complicated version -- one made not with the traditional squab but boneless skinless chicken thighs so readily available now. Store-bought marcona almonds replace the home-toasted almonds and high-heat canola oil replaces a little of the butter to cut richness.


Warkha pastry, the paper-thin, traditional dough cooked on a griddle over glowing embers for bestilla, is best left to the masters. Instead, we rely on sheets of frozen phyllo dough found in most large supermarkets.


In the traditional version, the chicken and egg filling is encased in the dough by a complicated folding procedure on a large round pan. Midway through the baking, the whole bestilla is inverted. Today, we use the old standby metal 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Don't fret over the phyllo layering. It sounds complicated, but the goal is simply to encase the filling in the flaky leaves; you really can't go wrong.


For starters, set out bowls of assorted olives marinated with a little fresh orange juice, grated orange rind and chopped garlic. Serve the bestilla cut into large rectangles on warm plates. Baby spinach, tossed with currants, red onion and a sweet red wine vinaigrette pairs nicely with the spicy chicken dish.


For dessert, melt a little orange marmalade in the microwave and serve it over scoops of caramel ice cream. Offer small cups of sweetened fresh mint tea to ease digestion, freshen the breath and give you sweet dreams until your next bestilla moment.


QUICK COOKING TIP:


The chicken mixture from Step 1 of the bestilla is delicious. For a quick dinner, cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces and simmer as directed. Serve the chicken mixture over cooked couscous.


MOROCCAN-STYLE CHICKEN BESTILLA

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 1 1/2 hours
Makes: 8 servings

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 6 pieces

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

  • 1/4 cup each chopped fresh: parsley, cilantro

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon each: salt, ground cumin, cinnamon

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron, optional

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine

  • 1/3 cup canola oil

  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 12 sheets (about 2/3 of a 1-pound package) phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions

  • 1/3 cup chopped marcona almonds, or regular blanched, toasted almonds


1. Combine the chicken, onions, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, paprika, salt, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, ground red pepper and saffron in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; heat over medium heat to a simmer. Cover pan; reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring often, until the chicken is tender and juices run clear, about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken with tongs to a plate; let cool. Meanwhile, melt the margarine with the oil in a bowl in the microwave on high, about 30 seconds; set aside. Combine the sugar with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Heat the onion mixture to a boil; boil gently, uncovered and stirring often, until the juices are mostly evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the eggs; cook, stirring gently, until the eggs are set like soft scrambled eggs; cool. Pull the cooled chicken into large shreds. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of at 13-by-9-inch baking pan with some of the margarine mixture.

3. Lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter; unfold the phyllo sheets on it. Cover the phyllo with another clean towel so the phyllo doesn't dry out. Lay a third clean towel on the counter in front of you; place one sheet of phyllo on it. Brush the sheet with the margarine mixture to coat evenly. Top with another phyllo sheet; butter it. Repeat to make a stack of 4. Arrange this stack of 4 phyllo sheets lengthwise in the baking pan. Repeat to make a second stack of 4 buttered phyllo sheets; arrange the stack widthwise in the pan.

4. Spoon the egg mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly. Top with the shredded chicken, then the almonds. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Fold in the overhanging phyllo sheets. Make one more stack of 4 buttered phyllo sheets; use this stack to cover the pan. Tuck all the phyllo sheets into the pan to enclose the filling. Brush top with margarine.

5. Bake 20 minutes; reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Bake until the phyllo is golden, about 40 minutes; let cool 10 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon-sugar. Cut the bestilla into large rectangles with a serrated knife.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 563 calories, 59 percent of calories from fat, 37 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 210 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, 647 mg sodium, 3 g fiber


SWEET MINT TEA

Prep: 10 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

  • 2 bunches (about 1 1/2 ounces total) fresh mint sprigs, rinsed

  • 5 black tea bags

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 6 cups boiling water


Place mint sprigs in a large ceramic teapot; add the tea bags and sugar. Fill the teapot with the boiling water; stir to dissolve the sugar and bruise the mint a little. Let steep 3-4 minutes; pour through a small strainer into tea cups.


Nutrition information

Per serving: 61 calories, 0 percent of calories from fat, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 5 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

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