AMV recipes: Iman Lyaoui’s chicken and almond pastilla

All year long, we share our team’s favourite recipes here. A delicious way to meet the AMV members. 

Cover photo: Iman Lyaoui

Iman Lyaoui has been working at American Vintage for a year now as head of the talent acquisition division. Today, she shares a recipe that takes her back to her childhood. Try it for yourself and feel free to add your own twist!


“This recipe reminds me of holidays in Morocco, where I’m from. It conjures up family meals and all the moments when my cousins and I gathered together at my grandmother’s house.”

Ingredients (for 8 people)

8 phyllo pastry sheets
8 eggs
1 kg chicken
6 onions
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp curcuma
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
1 tsp butter
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 large glass water
4 tsp icing sugar
4 tsp sunflower oil


1 — Put the 6 chopped onions, chicken pieces, spices, butter, oil and finely chopped parsley in a pot. Add a glass of water.
2 — Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes to sweat the onions and let the chicken soak up the juices, until the water is completely evaporated.
3 — Remove the chicken. Allow to cool, then tear into pieces.
4 — Add honey to the onion sauce and caramelise over very low heat, stirring regularly.
5 — When the onions start to take on a jam texture, remove the excess oil and save it for the pastry sheets.
6 — Put the pieces of chicken in the onion sauce, then add 7 eggs, one by one. This gives the sauce a very thick creamy texture.
7 — Cook this filling over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring gently. Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool down a little.
8 — Fry or roast the blanched almonds until they turn golden brown. Grind with a food processor, adding the sugar and cinnamon.
9 — Mix the cooking oil and the sauce with the melted butter to coat the pastilla pastry sheets during the folding process.
10 — Butter a pie dish and coat the pastry sheets with melted butter. Place 4 sheets on the bottom of the dish, overlapping them and extending half of each sheet over the edge of the dish to close them afterwards. Add two sheets in the centre to reinforce the pastilla base.
11 — Coat the bottom with the almond filling. Then, add the chicken filling. Close with a last phyllo pastry sheet. Brush the top of the pastilla with the beaten egg. The pastilla should look like a pie.
12 — Preheat your oven to 180° and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Iman’s tip: Decorate the pastilla as you wish, with icing sugar and cinnamon, before serving.

AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.