Moroccan Chicken Galette


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A pie party. Yup. A spectacular idea for a birthday celebration, right?

Our friends who have almost the same birthdays, were turning 1 year older and decided to celebrate with a potluck of pies and great company. Genius! I mean who doesn’t like pie? Here were the instructions as outlined in their Facebook event.  

“How it works: Each guest brings a pie to the event! It can be savoury or sweet, homemade or store bought, regular or mini. It can be a hand pie, a tart, a galette, or a traditional ol’ pie—anything your heart desires! We’ll eat pie (of course), and at the end of the night, everyone can take home slices of the pies they love the most! We’ll have beverages (alcoholic and non), ice cream, whipped cream and other toppings as well as containers for you to take your slices home in. We’ll also have some savoury pies and a salad on the table to make sure we don’t all keel over from stomach aches!”

It was such a great night full of fun, catching up and, of course, too much pie! It ended up being a good balance of sweet and savoury and not one pie was the same. This was really surprising to everyone since no one disclosed what type of pie they were bringing beforehand! There was steak and kidney pie, pulled pork pie, mushroom and spinach pie, squash, pancetta and pecorino pie, pizza pie, key lime pie, maple nut, blueberry, chocolate macaroon, butterscotch, apple, and so many more! Some were gluten free, some sugar free, some dairy free, some vegan or vegetarian, and some packed full of as much meat as possible. I tried a bit of almost every single one and there wasn’t one that I didn’t love!

My contribution was this Moroccan chicken galette. I have been craving Moroccan chicken stew for weeks, and that’s literally how I came up with the recipe. One night, (while half asleep) I pictured this thick, rich Moroccan chicken stew with apricots and chickpeas that I had been craving in a spicy, golden pie crust. I was determined to make it the next day. 

A new spice shop on Preston Street in Little Italy opened up recently, so this was my excuse to get over there. It’s called Cardamom & Cloves and I was “Facebook introduced” to the owner, Jodi Samis, by a mutual friend.

I needed ras el hanout and harissa seasoning to make this galette and a few other spices that she carries for my spice cupboard. Her website is constantly updated with her current collection and she is more than happy to answer your phone calls about any questions you have or quick current stock updates.

When I first walked in, I was greeted by her friendly little terrier who liked to follow me along as I browsed the perfectly organized wall of spices. Large, labelled glass jars of spices, chilis, herbs and salts filled the space and I was immediately excited. Jodi’s knowledge, curiousity and friendly one-on-one service was a breath of fresh air.

She asked questions to find out what I was making with everything I picked up just to make sure I was getting the right amounts and to understand my needs. Jodi encouraged me to smell anything I wanted to and was excited to tell me about the new things she would have in stock soon. 

The ras el hanout and dried harissa seasoning I picked up from Cardamom & Cloves are what I used for this recipe and they were fresh and fantastic. They are hard to find in a regular grocery store and since I only needed a few teaspoons of each, only buying what I needed from Jodi ensures a big bag or jar of it won’t go stale in the back of my spice cupboard.

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Ras el hanout is a blend of many different spices. If you Google a recipe, you may be able to make a blend yourself with spices you already have on hand. The dried harissa seasoning I bought from Jodi was ground up and looked a bit like chili powder. It was perfectly balanced and had just the right amount of spiciness. Sometimes it is flaky, not ground up and spicier. You can also buy or make a harissa paste. All of these versions of harissa will work perfectly in this recipe.

This recipe for Moroccan Chicken Galette makes 2 pies and they will serve 6 people (3 per pie) as a meal or more as an appetizer. You can bake one right away and save the other for another meal. Just make sure you leave the assembly of the galette for right before you bake it as you want to ensure the crust will be flaky and not gummy. 

The filling for this recipe is also great on it’s own or over rice if you don’t feel like making it into a galette. Or better yet, only simmer the sauce for 5 minutes instead of 30, dump it into a casserole dish, top with harissa spiced bisquit dough and bake. Killer! 

Moroccan Chicken Galette 

Inspired by Food Network’s Bobby Flay

For 2 galettes (serves 6)

The crust:

  • 1/3 cup very cold water
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
  • 2 tsp. harissa seasoning

The filling:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 tsp. ras el hanout
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 1 (796 mL) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8-10 dried apricots, sliced

The garnishes:

  • 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped parsely
  • 1/2 cup thick plain yogurt (optional)

In a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal and salt and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until you get a mealy looking texture. In a measuring cup (one that pours easily), measure the milk and cold water together and stir. With the food processor on, pour in the milk and water mixture slowly. Process it until a ball of dough forms. Add the harissa seasoning and pulse briefly to marble it into the dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. It will be quite soft and sticky. You can flour your hands lightly to prevent it from sticking to them. Cut the dough evenly in half and form each half into a disc. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to a week.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cubed chicken and sprinkle it with salt and the ras el hanout seasoning. Fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour the 1/4 cup of chicken broth over the onion and garlic to de-glaze the pan. Scrape the bottom the pan to release any brown bits. Stir in the cinnamon and saffron. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, chickpeas, dried apricots, and cooked chicken.

Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 30 mins or until the sauce has thickened. If the sauce gets too thick (like a thick stew) add a bit more chicken broth. It should be the consistency of a chunky tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Take it off the heat when it’s done and slightly cool it for about 10 minutes. You don’t want it to be too hot when you put it on the pie crust.

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each chilled disc of dough into 10-11 inch circles. Don’t worry about them being perfect circles, and don’t be too fussy. You don’t want to handle the dough too much or it will warm up and the texture won’t be the same when it’s cooked. Place each circle of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Leaving a 2 inch edge, spoon half of the warm sauce onto each circle of dough. Fold up the 2 inch edge of the dough over the filling. Again, don’t be too fussy as it should look rustic and you want to get it into the oven quickly.

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Bake immediately for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is golden on the edges and underneath. If you let the prepared galettes sit around too long, the dough will get too warm and soft and the cooked dough will be gummy rather than flaky. If you are making this ahead of time or cooking one at a time, refrigerate the dough and the sauce separately and assemble the galette right before you bake it.

Garnish the galettes with the roughly chopped parsley. You can also serve each slice with a dollop of the yogurt on the side.

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