This crowd-pleasing dish is traditionally made for special occasions with pigeon meat.
For the chicken
1 ½ kilos chicken (preferably two breasts and two legs, bone-in)
The juice of 2 lemons
Chopped fresh parsley and coriander 2 cloves garlic, ﬁnely chopped
1 tablespoon ras al hanout
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
Just a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
For the eggs
For the almonds
140 grams raw almonds
2 tablespoons sunﬂower oil
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons sugar
4 large circular sheets of ﬁlo pastry (or cut rectangular sheets into circles if needed)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Rub chicken with lemon juice and plenty of salt, and remove any fat. Rinse under running water before placing in a pot with the olive oil, onion, and ½ a teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, blanche the almonds and then fry in sunﬂower oil until golden brown. Strain out any excess oil and then toss into a grinder with sugar and cinnamon. Blitz until very ﬁnely ground. Set aside.
Once chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and set on a plate to cool. Turn the heat up under the remaining sauce until bubbling and drop in four eggs. Whisk and stir until mixture resembles a soft scramble. Set aside.
Once chicken has cooled for 10-15 minutes, remove the bones and shred ﬁnely.
To assemble the pastilla, lay out two sheets of ﬁlo pastry ﬂat on a large workspace. Place the chicken mixture in the middle and ﬂatten until about 2 centimeters thick. Be sure to leave about 5 centimeters of uncovered ﬁlo dough around the edges. Then layer on the egg mixture, ﬂattening to about 1 centimeter thick, and ﬁnally the almond mixture which will be about half a centimeter thick.
Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk. This is your adhesive. Fold the uncovered edges of ﬁlo dough up and on top of the ﬁlling. Then brush the visible part of the ﬁlo dough with egg wash. Top with 2 more sheets of ﬁlo dough, and fold them underneath the pastilla to seal in the ﬁlling. Brush egg wash all over the top of the pastilla, and then brush with melted butter. Bake in a preheated 180º C (350º F) oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
Top with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Serve.