Moroccan Pigeon Pie Recipe
This recipe is based upon a classic Moroccan dish called Pastilla, which is a filo pastry pie, filled with an unusual but delicious mixture of pigeon, eggs, spices and nuts. If pigeon is unavailable, chicken makes a good substitute.
- 3 pigeons
- 4 tbsp (2 oz/50 g) butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground ginger
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh coriander
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh parsley
- pinch of ground turmeric
- l tbsp (15 ml) caster sugar
- ¼ tsp (1,5 ml) ground cinnamon
- l cup (4 oz/115 g) toasted almonds, finely chopped
- 6 eggs, beaten
- salt and ground black pepper
- cinnamon and icing sugar to garnish
- #For the Pastry#
- ¾ cup (6 oz/175 g) butter, melted
- 16 sheets filo pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- Wash the pigeons and place in a pan with the butter, onion, cinnamon stick, ginger, coriander, parsley and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add just enough water to cover and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the pigeon flesh is very tender.
- Strain off the stock and reserve.
- Skin and bone the pigeons, and shred the flesh into bite-size pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas 4).
- Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and almonds, and set aside.
- Measure ⅔ cup (¼ pint/150 ml) of the reserved stock into a small pan. Add the eggs and mix well. Stir over a low heat until creamy and very thick and almost set. Season with salt and pepper.
- Brush a 12 in (30 cm) diameter ovenproof dish with some of the melted butter and lay the first sheet of pastry in the dish.
- Brush this with butter and continue with five more sheets of pastry.
- Cover with the almond mixture, then half the egg mixture. Moisten with a little stock.
- Layer four more sheets of filo pastry, brushing with butter as before.
- Lay the pigeon meat on top, then add the remaining egg mixture and more stock.
- Cover with all the remaining pastry, brushing each sheet with butter, and tuck in any overlap.
- Brush the pie with egg yolk and bake for 40 minutes.
- Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C/Gas 6), and bake for 15 minutes more, until the pastry is crisp and golden.
- Garnish with a lattice design of cinnamon and icing sugar. Serve hot.