I’m not exactly sure what inspired me to put b’stilla, a Moroccan chicken pie, on my 30 before 30 list. Before putting it on the list, I’d actually only eaten it once – at Aziza, as a part of an overall fantastic, multi-course meal. I think I was mostly intrigued by the idea of putting together a savory, delicately layered pie, which is something I’ve never really attempted before.
This pie involves so many pure, beautiful ingredients: fresh herbs, bright spices, enough butter and powdered sugar and cinnamon to give the dish a rich and complex taste.
I also appreciate the fact that this recipe got me to branch out, ingredients-wise. This was actually the first time I’ve ever purchased and cooked boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Traditionally, I’ve been a bit afraid to branch out much beyond the breast of the chicken, so I was grateful to be pushed out of that shell.
We experienced a couple of snafus. One: the stovetop mixture, before going in to the pie dish, just wasn’t thickening as much as I would have liked, and I worried about overcooking it, so I think the end result wasn’t quite firm enough. Two: the pie had been baking for at least 15 minutes past the recommended baking time, and the top still wasn’t as crisp and brown as it should have been; I wanted to give it more time, but we were starving and it was late and I just wanted to be done. Despite this, however, this b’stilla was really delicious. I would definitely consider making it again, for a special occasion or a weekend that begs for a longer cooking project.