How to make chicken briouats

Chef Philippe Agnello shows us how to make Moroccan chicken brioutats. The fruity, spiced filo pastry parcels are so moreish you won’t be able to stop at one!

How to make chicken briouats

Makes about 15. Hands-on time 1 hour, oven time 5-8 min, plus cooling

  • 125g British free-range chicken thigh fillets
  • 125g British free-range skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 40g caster sugar
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 100g dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 80g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1½ tsp clear honey
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, plus 3 egg yolks mixed with a little water
  • Small bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley chopped
  • 15 filo pastry sheets

1. Mince the chicken using a food processor (see food team’s tips). Heat the olive oil in a lidded sauté pan and fry the chicken, stirring, until golden brown. Add the salt and black pepper, then scatter over the onion and garlic (this way, the onion and garlic will steam and won’t burn). Cover with a lid and don’t stir for 10-15 minutes until the onion starts to release moisture.

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2. Remove the lid, add the sugar, saffron and apricots, then stir regularly. After 12 minutes, mix in 50g of the butter and the honey.

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3. Break the 2 eggs into a small bowl and beat briefly, then stir into the chicken mixture until well combined. Transfer to a tray (or two trays) to cool.

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4. Once cool, mix in the chopped herbs. Melt the remaining butter, then leave it to settle. When white solids form on top, scoop them off with a spoon. Warm the butter again just before baking.

5. Cut each filo sheet widthways into 3 x 10cm wide strips. (If you have sharp kitchen scissors, layer the sheets up and cut in 1-2 batches.) Layer up 3 strips of filo, brushing egg yolk between each one. Put 1 tbsp of the filling into the corner at one end, then fold the corner of the filo over the filling at about 45 degrees to make a rough triangular parcel at the end. Take the other corner of the filo and fold it over at about 45 degrees, keeping the triangular shape. Keep folding the pastry from one side to the other to finish with a triangular parcel. Fold over the end of the filo, sealing with a bit of egg yolk. Repeat with the remaining strips until the mixture is used up (see tip).

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6. Heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6. Put the briouats on a baking sheet and brush with the melted clarified butter. Bake for 5-8 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Serve the briouats hot or just warm.

chicken-briouats

Make ahead: Prepare the filling up to 2 days in advance and keep chilled in a sealed container in the fridge. The briouats can be made up to the end of step 5, unbaked, up to 2 hours in advance. Keep them covered in cling film and brush them with melted butter just before baking.

Food team’s tips: The chicken needs to be very finely minced for this recipe so we recommend using a food processor. You can mince the chicken using a sharp knife but it will take at least half an hour.

Save the egg whites for another dish. Whisk with a fork until just frothy, then freeze in a freezer bag marked with the date and quantity of whites. Use within 3 months.

Our guest chef’s tips for success:

  • When working with filo, it helps to keep the pastry sheets under a damp tea towel, to keep the pastry moist and pliable.
  • North African people cook from the heart and trust their senses – something I try to remember at Momo. Taste the food as you cook it. You don’t always have to use scales to measure ingredients, especially spices – if you know you like a little more of this and a little less of that, play around with the quantities and use the recipe only as a guide.

Nutritional info (per parcel): 228kcals, 9.3g fat (3.9g saturated), 8.8g protein, 27g carbs (6.4g sugars), 0.7g salt, 0.9g fibre

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