A take on the traditional Moroccan pigeon pie
Inspired by the traditional Moroccan pigeon pie, pastilla, this one harbours all the taste of sweet-spicy Moorish flavours with half the fuss. You can prepare this recipe up to two days in advance and keep it in the fridge. You can also substitute the chicken with your lamb for a stronger flavour.
Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often until they soften and turn golden, about 3 minutes.
Add ginger, cinnamon and chicken and stir to mix well. Add salt and pepper, and stir to mix again.
Allow the chicken to cook for about 15 minutes, until the onions start to darken slightly. Take care to not turn the onions dark brown.
If there is a liquid left in the pan after the 15 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken and onions from the pan and cook until the liquid evaporates. You should be left with sizzling oil.
Return the chicken to the pan, add raisins and pine nuts and stir to mix. Remove pan from the heat and set aside. You can make this up to two days in advance and keep it in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 180°C. When you are ready to make the pie, open out the filo sheets in a pile and cover with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out as you work.
Drape the first sheet around a 23cm pie tin and brush with the melted butter, pressing the filo into the corners with the brush and letting the longer edges hang over the sides. Repeat with four sheets, brushing each with melted butter.
Fill the pastry-lined tin with the chicken mixture, then bring the overlapping pastry over the filling to cover it.
Lay the remaining filo sheets over the top, brushing with melted butter. Do not brush the very last sheet with butter, though. Tuck the hanging edges of the pastry into the sides of the pan, around the pie.
Brush the top of the pie with egg yolk mixed with a drop of water, then bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until pie is puffed, crisp and lightly golden.
Let cool for until it’s just safe to touch the crust without burning yourself, and cut and serve with a green salad on the side.