Kitchen confidential: Bashir Khalefa, 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


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