Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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The perfect teacher is like a host
who spreads his table with all kinds of food.
No guest will go hungry;
all may find their needed nourishment set before them.
Such a teacher is the Qur'an, whose sevenfold meaning
offers food for guests both subtle and coarse.
Bosnian Chicken In Fillo
Total time: 3 hours
Stewing chicken: 1 hour
Assembling pie: 30 minutes
Baking: 45-50 minutes
Cooling: 30 minutes
1 4-lb. stewing hen
1 cup diced carrots
½ cup diced parsnip
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup onions
1 cup finely chopped parsley
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 lb. fillo dough
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted

Rinse off the chicken and set aside the giblets for making stock. In a large stew pot, cover the chicken with cold water and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam that rises to the top, then add the vegetables, salt and pepper. Simmer for about an hour, until the chicken is tender. Strain and reserve the broth for making soup, then separate the chicken and vegetables.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

While the chicken cools, sauté the onions in 2 tbsp. of butter for 5-10 minutes, until soft and golden, then remove from the heat. Lightly butter a large baking dish. Cut the fillo dough to fit the pan and place ten layers in the bottom of the pan, lightly brushing each layer with melted butter.

After the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, keeping the pieces of meat as large as possible. Place the meat in the baking dish on top of the fillo layers, then sprinkle it with a little more salt and pepper, and scatter the onions and parsley on top. You may add the cooked vegetables or leave them out as you choose. Place ten more layers of fillo dough on top of the pie filling, brushing each layer as before. Thin out the sour cream with the milk, then spread this evenly over the top of the pie.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. When the pie is golden on top, sprinkle or spray it lightly with a little bit of water, cover it with a dish towel, and leave it to cool for 30 minutes.

Cut into slices and serve warm.