Are you looking for something new to try this Passover? How about a recipe that yields something tasty, different and fun. Everyone loves the flavor combination of almonds, cinnamon, chicken, fresh herbs, and a little spice. I had a great idea the other night and purchased a springform pan that I will dedicate for Passover since I do keep separate dishes and pots for Passover in a separate pantry off of my kitchen.
My husband and one of my sons came home while I was recipe testing and they both tasted and liked this dish. If you try this chicken bastilla dish, just know it was great hot, and once it cooled off completely it still tasted great and was easier to slice.
Serves 8 to 16
5 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless or
10 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
Salt and pepper
1/ 2 teaspoon cumin (it comes kosher for Passover)
Onion Herb Layer:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced in small pieces
1 cup fresh parsley, washed, dried, and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, washed, dried and chopped
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger root
1 and 1/ 2 cups slivered almonds
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
10 sheets of matzo
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
Place chicken in a sauté pan with a tight fitting lid. Season chicken with cumin, salt, and pepper and cover chicken with cold water. Place lid on the pan and bring chicken to a boil over medium high heat. When water and chicken start to boil, turn off heat and leave chicken in covered pan until it is completely cool. No Peaking. When chicken is cool, remove it and reserve the broth in a container with a lid. Shred chicken into bite size bits and place in a bowl. You can cover chicken and save overnight in the refrigerator to use the next day or just set aside until you are ready to assemble the dish.
Heat a 12 inch sauté pan on medium high heat, turn heat down to medium and add oil, then add diced onions. Sauté onions until translucent, then add cilantro, parsley, and ginger. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute or two, turn off heat and place onion mixture into a separate medium bowl.
Heat oven to 350° F. Place slivered almonds on a cookie sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes. Watch almonds closely since they burn easily. Remove almonds from oven when they are slightly golden brown. In another medium bowl, immediately toss hot almonds with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
Crack eggs and add them to a medium size shallow baking dish. Add chicken stock to eggs and beat with a whisk. Season egg batter with salt and pepper, lemon zest and grated ginger. Break up matzo sheets into small pieces with your hands. Place matzo pieces into beaten eggs and stir. Let the matzo pieces absorb egg mixture for about 20 minutes.
Add olive oil to bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Place 1/ 3 of matzo egg batter into pan. Top matzo layer with 1/ 2 shredded chicken. Place one half of sautéed onions over chicken layer and then, add 1/ 2 of almonds with cinnamon and sugar. Spread each layer of ingredients evenly over the surface. Place another third of matzo egg batter in the pan and then, layer again, chicken, onions and herbs, almonds. Finally the top will be egg matzo batter. Spread a little olive oil over the top. Place spring springform pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips and place bastilla into 350° F oven. Bake for 15 minutes then, check to see if it is browning too rapidly. If so, cover pan with aluminum foil to prevent further browning. Bake for another 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave pan in oven with the door ajar for another 1/ 2 hour so batter will be set. Slice into wedges and serve.