Saturday, June 09, 2007

Moorish Chicken and nut pie

3tbsp olive oil, or more if needed
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 cups skinned chicken, torn into bite sized pieces
1tbsp sweet (not smoked) paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup dark raisins
Coarse salt
All purpose flour, for dusting the work surface
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
1 large egg yolk
1.5tsp milk

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, 3-5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onion is very soft and barely brown, about 15 min, stirring occasionally and adding a little more olive oil and 1-2 tsp of the chicken stock if the skillet looks dry. Stir in the chicken and cook for 1 minute. Add the paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and stir for a few seconds. Add the 1/2 cup chicken stock, the tomatoes, and raisins, cover the skillet and cook for 12-15 min. The filling should be soft and moist, if it seems a little too wet, increase the heat to high for a few seconds so the liquid reduces. Season the filling with salt to taste, then let it cool completely. This can be done up to a day ahead, and refrigerated covered.
Preheat to 375f. Lightly brush a 17X11 inch baking sheet with baking oil.
Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry to a 12X18 inch rectangle. Transfer it to the oiled baking sheet. Roll out the remaining sheet slightly smaller then the first.
Spread the filling evenly over the pastry on the baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch bare along each of the 4 edges. Sprinkle the pine nuts and almonds evenly on top. Cover the filling with the second pastry. Fold the edges of the bottom crust up over the top and crimp them decoratively.
Place the yolk and milk in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Using a sharp knife, make slits all over the top crust to allow steam to escape.
Bake 30-35 minutes, let it cool slightly, or to room temp. Dust very lightly with confectioners sugar, cut into squares and serve.

This was an empanada in the same style as the Tuna Empanada I made and blogged ages ago.

It calls for store bought puff pastry, but I decided to use the olive oil and saffron pastry that I used for the other one. It also called for a light dusting of powdered sugar, but I had just run out. I think it would have been a really interesting touch, and I will definitely use it next time. Even without it though, this was a really good recipe. The nuts and raisins made it a big hit with the boys as well as us grown ups. This is a good one for busier people too, because the filling can be made ahead, from leftover chicken, and if you are using store bought pastry, then it is minimal effort, minimal cooking time on the day of eating.

This was from a really good book called The New Spanish Table.

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