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Moroccan Chicken/nut Pie

1/2 lb blanched almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
honey or sugar (optional)

1 tbsp clarified butter
1/3 cup butter
1 onion, minced
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut in small pieces

1/2 tsp pepper
1 pinch saffron
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced coriander (cilantro, chinese parsley)
2 eggs, beaten

melted butter

Brown almonds in a little oil until golden. Chop coarsely or pound
with a mortar and pestle. Add cinnamon and (optionally) honey or
sugar to sweeten to taste. Set aside.

Heat clarified butter and butter in a large heavy pot. Add on and
saute for a few minutes. Add chicken meat, along with pepper,
saffron, cinnamon, parsley, cilantro and salt.

Slowly stir eggs into the sauce. Remove from heat.

Have ready phillo sheets, melted butter (at least 1/4 lb), and a
pastry brush. Select a shallow baking pan about 8" in diameter,
such as an iron skillet. Construct a pie by layering the phyllo
sheets in the pan and then folding them over the contents; it will
probably be easiest if you cut the sheets in half or smaller, for
instance into long rectangles about the width of the pan and twice
as long.

Brush one of the sheets with melted butter, and put it, butter side
up, in the bottom of the pan, the excess dangling over the side.
ydd another sheet, at an angle to the first, and repeat so that
you have phillo covering the bottom of the pan and dangling out
all around. Use about 5 sheets to form this layer. Repeat the
process, forming another layer. Pour the chicken and sauce into
the pan. Put several more buttered sheets on top of the chicken,
this time not overlapping the edge--use smaller pieces or fold them
in half. Spread the nut mixture on top of this. Put another layer
or so of phillo, then fold the dangling ends over the top so as to
close the envelope. Brush the top with butter.

Just before serving, put the pan in a 350-degree oven for 15-20
minutes until the top is golden: flip it onto an oven-proof plate
(or use an ordinary plate to flip it over back into the skillet)
and return to brown the other side, 30-40 minutes total. Place on
a serving platter, sprinkle with powdered sugar, then make fanciful
decorative designs with ground cinnamon.


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