Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

July 1, 2011

chicken fatayer.

Very sorry for the picture quality - all taken at night, therefore have yellow tinges.

Ever write an entire blogpost, complete with EVERYTHING, including a long, detailed recipe, and then have it deleted because your computer decides to only save the draft after writing three sentences, and then goes oh, why save the rest? It's not like it took an hour to type or anything.

So I am sorry, but I cannot retype an hour's worth of creativity and detail. A short post will have to suffice.

I am not too knowledgable about Arabic cuisine; I was just browsing on tastespotting one day when I came across a picture of doughy triangles that appeared to have some sort of filling. The caption read Chicken Fatayer. I had never heard of it before, so it grabbed my interest.

(^that's what got saved. silly blogger.com tricks are for kids ... WOAH. woah wait I just had an intense revelation. TRICKS are for kids. TRIX are for kids. has anyone ever noticed this before?!!?! this is ridiculous. i never knew ... i can't even .. )

The dough has been separated into balls to be rollen out.

I googled the dish, but there is not much online about it. This is what I gathered: chicken fatayer is an Arabic pie. The term pie here is in the sense of how spankopita is a Greek pie. Fatayers can have fillings ranging from meat, to spinach and cheese (see how similar different cultures can be?), to just cheese. The filling is enclosed within a bready yeast dough. Yum.

The chicken is cooking and awaits more seasoning.

A couple things:

1) The recipe I followed is incredibly faulty. 1.5 cups liquid to less than 2.5 cups flour. With 1.5 Tb yeast. How is this supposed to make sense?
2) The dough, due to the above combination & my yet infant relationship with yeast, was a literal PITA to work with. literally. It was so bad that instead of wanting to give up, I wanted to master the damn sticky mess. And I did. So HA to the dough, I win.

3) The chicken filling is very tasty. It's cooked cubed chicken that is ground up and mixed with a white sauce. I don't like white sauce, but in here, the sauce made it seem as if there was cheese ... but there wasn't! And I used fat-free milk, so it was healthy too. Win again.
4) Despite the three long hours of constant cooking and cleaning I spent in the kitchen making JUST this dinner, from 7-10pm, the fatayer was still good. Also, despite having been disappointed by Google, I am still recreating this post. So just goes to say ...

Make this. And follow my guidelines below to adjust the recipe and you won't want to cry making and cleaning up after the dough.

My wonderfully shaped fatayers.

Chicken Fatayer
originally found here.

  • AT LEAST 3 cups flour (use half whole wheat & all-purpose or all all-purpose)
  • 3 Tb oat flour (I don't know how this contributes to the fatayer)
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1 1/2 Tb yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, like canola
  • 1 egg yolk, or white, or whole egg + milk/water
  1. Mix the flour - yeast in bowl of stand mixer.
  2. Mix the water, milk, and oil. Turn the mixer on with the dough hook & slowly pour in the wet mixture.
  3. Allow the mixer to mix for about 10 minutes. If, at the 7 or 8 minute mark, the dough looks way too wet to handle instead of smooth and soft, add flour in 1 Tb increments.
  4. Once dough is smooth, cover and let rise for 10 minutes.
  5. Divide into 32 pieces - yes, it seems like a lot. It will work out though. These fatayers shouldn't be huge. Roll out the dough & place no more than 1 - 1 1/2 Tb filling in the center. Fold dough over the filling to form a triangle. Or do as I did, and place filling on one side of the odugh round and make a semi-circle. This is less traditional, but a lot easier.
  6. Brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. The little fatayers should be browned.
  7. Serve hot, alongside kefir as the accompanying beverage, if you want to up the Arabic ambiance!
  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tspns grated or minced ginger
  • 2 Tb green chutney (if you have this one hand - it's actually Indian. if not available, use 2 Tb finely chopped coriander, if that doesn't take like soap to you)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 - 2 tspns red chili powder, optional
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, optional
White Sauce
  • 2 Tb ghee, or butter
  • 2 Tb all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, any kind (I used fat-free)
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat some oil, about 1 - 2 Tb, in a large saucepan. Add the chicken. Wait a minute. Then add the garlic, ginger, chutney (or coriander), red chili powder, salt, and pepper, to taste. Stir. 
  2. Continue cooking until the chicken is full cooked.
  3. Add the chicken to the bowl of a food processor and let cool slightly.
  4. While it is cooling, make the white sauce. Whisk butter & flour in a small saucepan. Stir until you can smell the mixture roasting, or about 30 seconds. Whisk in milk & stir, till thick or about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Grind the chicken with the spinach. Add to the white sauce. Stir thoroughly. Season to taste. 
  6. This can be used in sandwiches, or between savory crepes, or in many other dishes. Perhaps to fill ravioli?

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