Kitchen confidential: Bashir Khalefa, Bashir's Taverna
BASHIR KHALEFA, OWNER, BASHIR'S TAVERNA
The secret to great cooking is: passion and developing taste buds by going to fine restaurants and tasting the best.
The secret to success in the restaurant business is: personalizing your relationship with your customers.
The secret to making Bashir's chicken pot pie with North African spices is: covering the filo dough beforehand and then being patient while working with it.
Bashir's Chicken Pot Pie with North African Spices
4-5 lbs. chicken
5 medium potatoes
5 carrots (or an amount equal to the potatoes)
2 cups peas
1 large onion, diced
1/2 lb. melted butter
1/2 lb. filo dough
3 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ginger
Hint of cinnamon
Put 3 tsp. olive oil in a pan and sautée the diced onion
After 5 minutes, begin adding the chicken 3-4 pieces at a time, browning them on each side
Add spices, reserving 1/4 tsp.
Add chicken stock and cook for 15 minutes
Add peas, carrots, and potatoes, diced in 1/2 inch pieces. Let cook for 23-30 minutes.
Separate the chicken from the vegetables and let the chicken cool until safe to handle. Remove the meat from the bone and shred.
Brush the bottom of a 12x12 pan with butter. Add two sheets of filo dough, then brush with butter. Layer 8-10 sheets of dough like this.
Layer the vegetables on top of the dough, then layer the chicken on top of the vegetables.
Layer 12-14 more sheets of dough with butter as before.
Drizzle a mixture of melted butter and the remaining 1/4 tsp. of spices on top. Bake at 325 degrees.
After 17-18 minutes, turn the pan around and bake for another 20 minutes.
Bashir Khalefa with his chicken pot pie
PHOTO BY HOOK STAFF