Before you scroll down to get the recipe of this chicken pie, please carefully read the following facts clearly stated by World Food Program :
- Approximately $1 trillion of food is lost or wasted every year — accounting for roughly one-third of the world’s food. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reversing this trend would preserve enough food to feed 2 billion people . That’s more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe.
- Consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa each year.
- If wasted food were a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the U.S. and China.
The global initiatives of eliminating food waste and ending hunger are a necessary action, yet they will only become effective if home cooks embrace and enshrine them in their value system and daily routine. Collective action is indispensable to make the change happen.
You should not be discourage – eliminating food waste is a source of inspiration rather than an austere measure. It is not a secret that many of my signature recipes that I am most proud of were the outcome of a routine check of my pantry, fridge, and freezer.
Minimizing food waste requires planning and perseverance, but it is also a highly rewarding lifestyle. It elicits wonderful sense of comfort, maximizes self-satisfaction and obviously saves money. You simply feel that a straightforward and constructive behavior is having a global positive impact.
This chicken pie recipe is a by-product of a weekly routine check of the ingredients that could easily expire or spoil. A bag of frozen ground chicken, a puffy pouch of ras-el-Hanout and the leftovers of a phyllo pastry roll are the real heroes behind this crowd pleaser.
A few weeks ago, I hosted a dinner at my place for a group of girl friends who also happen to be extraordinary home cooks. I felt challenged to serve exotic dishes that are also a quick fix.
I was inspired by the wafting aromas of the Moroccan ras-el-hanout spice mix that a precious friend of mine brought to me all the way from Jerusalem, a city where the culinary scene is significantly influenced by a strong presence of Jewish Moroccans.
Ras-el-hanout is a fragrant spice mix that originates in North African. It translates head of the shop. The mix consists of commonly used ingredients: cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric.
The sweetness of caramelized onions in the stuffing balances the sharpness of the spices. The spices together with the caramelized onions flavor the ground chicken and infuse every drip of the juicy chicken filling with robust flavors notes. The crispy and flaky layers of philo pastry that encases the juicy filling create the right amount of crunchy texture.
As simple as this pie could be, the outcome was an aesthetic, exotic, and tasty coiled chicken dish that wowed my guests and triggered impassioned requests for the recipe.
Ras-El-Hanout – Spiked Chicken Pie
- 400 grams of ground chicken
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ras hanout
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt and pepper
- 9 sheets of phyllo pastry
- 1/4 cup of butter, melted
- 1/4 cup oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Cook the chicken. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in heavy skillet. Add the sliced onions and stir slowly over low heat until the onions caramelise. Add the garlic and stir for one minute. Add the chicken and the spices, and continue cooking on a low heat. When it is fully cooked, let it come to room temperature.
- Melt the butter on a low heat and add the olive oil.
- Brush the baking round pan with enough butter-olive oil mix.
- Take a sheet of phyllo and place it on your work surface horizontally (with the long edge closest to you). Brush lightly with olive oil and place another sheet on top. Place a thin line of the filling down the length of the phyllo. Fold the bottom/long edge over and carefully roll up into a cylinder. Lay, seam side down, along the edge of the pan. Continue to wrap the filling and place the coils into the pan, starting each cylinder where the last one ends, until the pan is full.
- Brush the surface of the pie with olive oil and bake for 30 -40 minutes until golden and crispy.
- Serve hot.
- Always keep the phyllo sheets, while working covered with a damp towel so they don’t dry out.
- The best ground chicken for this dish is a combo of dark and white chicken meat.