I've been scouring food blogs for weeks now drooling over all kinds of things I want to make. My shopping lists get created while I sit in front of the computer and read off ingredients I need for the next thing I want to make. It's been satisfying and fun to go and find new things to cook and different flavors to try. I still have my limits because I am what some would call a picky eater but I'm expanding my horizons slowly and some things are just really yummy.
So tonight was a few new things for me. First I'd never worked with phyllo dough before. And I'd never made a chutney before. Let me say right off the bat one should never decide to work with phyllo dough when your pastry brush is packed away. A finger does indeed work but it's much more tedious. With the Bastilla there are a couple of ways to cook it; some say a flat pan (or in my case a baking stone) is best because it's easy to cut and serve, others say a pie pan or cake dish is best because you have something to hold the sides up. Today I used a baking stone and it cooked it wonderfully but it did cause a bit of smoke when the juice seeped out and started to burn on the bottom of the oven. So next time around I'll try the pie/cake pan method.
So the Chicken Bastilla I tried was a combination of two different recipes really. My original inspiration was from Savour Fare the second was from An Edible Symphony. Mine ended up leaning more towards the Savour Fare one than the second.
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs 1 large onion sliced 3 T olive oil ½ tsp ground ginger 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot curry powder
salt and pepper 7-9 large artichoke hearts
large bunch cilantro, chopped 7 large sheets phyllo about 3oz melted butter Peal and slice the onion and add to a sauce pan over medium heat with the olive oil saute till the onions start to wilt.
Once the onions are cooked add to the pan chicken and spices then mix in the artichoke hearts separating them up a bit unless you want large chunks of artichoke in your bastilla. Cook on the stove over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally for aprox 20-30 min or until the onions start to brown (On my end I found the chicken started to brown before the onions did and after 25 min I went ahead and moved it even though my onions weren't brown at all.)
While the chicken is in the works take your phyllo sheets and layer 5 of them over each other rotating the pan as you put each one on. Brush each layer with the melted butter before adding the next sheet. After you have 5 sheets layered put your chicken mixture in the middle and fold the edges up and lay on top of the mixture in the middle.
Add 2 more sheets to the top again adding butter between each layer then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Put into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for aprox 30 minutes.
I really ended up enjoying this dish. Wasn't a huge fan of the onion chunks myself but I have a real thing with textures. The actual flavor was great so I just ate around the onions a bit myself. However I did get good reviews from both The Sister and The Brother-In-Law. We all liked it so much in fact that there wasn't any left by the end of the night. Of the Bastilla or the Chutney. Which I always consider a success...unless of course the reason there's none left is because it got tossed in the garbage which luckily for me was not the case tonight. The only thing The Brother recommended was to add something red, unfortunately for him I'd already gone shopping for the day and didn't have anything red nor did he or The Sister. So no red was in this one.
The Apple Chutney I actually got off of All Recipes and I followed that one almost exactly. The only change I made was that I had no cardamom so I left that out I also added in a bit of the hot curry powder that I had used in the Bastilla.
2-1/4 tart apples - peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/8 yellow onion, quartered
1/2 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled
2 tablespoons and 1-1/4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a saucepan, mix the apples, onion, ginger, vinegar, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, white pepper, cardamom, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender. Mix in some water if necessary to keep the ingredients moist. Remove the onion and ginger, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
I found that when I added the lid I didn't have to add any water the moister from the apples collected on the lid and when I lifted it to stir I just let it fall back into the pan to keep it from drying out. This was really good. I was extreamly happy with the outcome. And The Sister who doesn't normally mix sweet & savory enjoyed this chutney with the Bastilla quite well.
Overall tonight I was quite pleased with the results. I think I could have added 3 full apples instead of the 2 and a half I used. Would have given everyone a bit more to enjoy but no one went hungry tonight and that's a good thing. I also made a pecan pie tonight because The Sister had been wanting one. I'll post that tomorrow cause it's late and I'm getting tired but The Brother said he's stealing the recipe on that one so apparently it was good as well.