Chicken, pine nut and rose pastillas

Makes 6 Cakes, Bread and Pastries

Pastilla 0678



  • 700g filleted, skinless chicken thighs
  • 20g flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed and chopped
  • 20g coriander, leaves removed and chopped
  • 2tsp sea salt crystals
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2½tbsp rosewater
  • 4tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • ¼tsp ground sweet cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
  • 1tsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 egg yolks, plus 1 yolk extra, for sealing the wrappers
  • 12 x 20cm square sheets Chinese spring roll wrappers
  • 30g ghee, melted


Preheat the oven to 190C/170C F/Gas 5. Cut each chicken thigh in half widthways, and put in a small casserole or baking tin with the parsley, coriander and sea salt.

Put the roughly chopped onion in a mini processor and blitz to finely chop. Add to the casserole with 1½tbsp of the rosewater. Add cold water to just cover the chicken (around 250ml) and cook for around 35 minutes in the oven until just tender. Turn the oven off.

Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Transfer the cooking juices with the cooked herbs and the remaining rosewater to a pan and set over a low heat to reduce down until thick and sticky (around 150ml). Leave to get cold.

Shred or cut the chicken into narrow pieces and fold into the reduced juices along with the pine nuts, cinnamon and icing sugar. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste. Mix in the egg yolks and set aside.

Heat the oven again to 180C/ 160C F/Gas 4. Unpack the spring roll wrappers and wrap in a damp tea towel to prevent them drying out.

Put the extra egg yolk in a bowl with 1tsp cold water. Take a spring roll wrapper and use to line a 10cm x 5cm deep 225ml capacity mould. Fill with one-sixth of the chicken mixture and bring the pastry over the filling, brushing with egg wash as you do to seal it.

Tip the filled pastry out and line the mould with a second spring roll wrapper. Put the filled pastry back into the lined mould, with the join side down, and once again egg wash the top and wrap the edges of the second wrapper over. Tip out and lay, join side up, on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and brush with some melted ghee.

Continue to make the remaining 5 pastillas in the same way. Bake for around 30 minutes until golden and crisp, then served dusted with a little icing sugar and cinnamon.

This recipe was taken from the August/September 2021 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe, click here.

Food styling by Linda Tubby, photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.
Pastilla 0678
Food styling by Linda Tubby, photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.


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