Meditations

Briouats: Moroccan Pastries with Chicken, Eggs and Preserved Lemons


briouat-recipe

Briouats: Moroccan Pastries with Chicken, Eggs and Preserved Lemons

Sorry for the delay in posting this recipe, one of the delicious items Don and Joyce served at our Foodists launch event at South China Seas. Briouats are a Moroccan dish traditionally served at festive occasions. As with most dishes that use filo, it’s a bit fussy, but well worth the effort. I am so going to serve these at a party some time.

1/4 cup  Unsalted butter
1  Large sweet Onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 cup  Flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup  Chicken stock
1 tsp  Sea salt
3  Garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp  Young ginger, grated
1/2 Tbsp  Turmeric, grated
1/2 Tbsp  Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp  Black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 gram  Saffron threads, crushed
1/4 cup  Lemon juice (preferably from Meyer lemons)
4 Eggs, well beaten
1-1/2 lbs  Shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup  Slivered almonds, toasted with granulated sugar to caramelize slightly
2  Preserved lemons, peel only, rinsed and minced
1 lb  Filo pastry, thawed thoroughly (allow 24 hours in the fridge)
1/2 cup  Clarified unsalted butter
Powdered sugar and ground cinnamon for finishing

Method
Sweat sliced onions in butter over low heat in a heavy pan until tender, but not browned.

Increase heat slightly, and add parsley, stock, salt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and saffron. Continue cooking until most of the liquid is gone and the contents are a soft, thick mass. Stir in the lemon juice, and when incorporated, the beaten eggs. Stir in the eggs and mix well until the eggs curdle and the mixture is dry.

Dump into a colander over a bowl and drain, reserving the liquid. When most of the liquid has drained and the mixture is cool, combine the egg-onion mixture with the chicken in a large bowl. Mixture should be quite dry – just moist enough to hold its shape when compressed. If too dry, use liquid drained from the onion-egg mixture to moisten.

Lay filo pastry sheets flat and cover with a damp cloth. Remove one sheet at a time (immediately re-covering the rest with the cloth) and brush it with melted clarified butter. Fold the sheets in half lengthwise and brush the surface with more clarified butter. Place 3 tablespoons of filling at the bottom of each folded sheet, a little right of center and about half the width of the filo strip up from the bottom. Top with some of the reserved almond mixture and some of the preserved lemon peel. Bring the lower left corner of the sheet over the filling to form a triangle and flatten the filling slightly. Brush with clarified butter and continue brushing with butter and folding – as you would fold a flag – until you reach the end of the sheet.

Lay pastries on a parchment lined sheet pan, brush the tops with butter and cover with plastic film to prevent drying. Bake at 375°F for about 15 minutes, or until hot through and golden. Dust the tops of the triangles lightly with powdered sugar and sprinkle cinnamon over the sugar (in a decorative pattern if you have the patience).

Note: Don served this with a bit of spicy harissa paste which gave a nice kick and offset the sweet elements. Highly recommended.

Recipe Copyright © 2009, Don Dickson / South China Seas Trading Co. Limited

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