Ground chicken stuffed msemen is a stuffed flatbread from Morocco. It is a soft flatbread served for breakfast or teatime snack.
Theme of the Week
The theme this week is stuffed flatbreads across countries and for the final day of this week’s blogging marathon, it is a Moroccan flatbread, ground chicken stuffed Msemen. The other two recipes for this week were bakshalu from India and patatesli gozleme from Turkey.
What is Msemen
Msemen, also known as rghaif, is a soft, square shaped flatbread from Morocco. Similar bread from Algeria is Mhojab. Msemen is either plain or stuffed, and the plain Msemen is served with some jam or anything sweet or savory. Since the theme is stuffed flatbreads, today it is ground chicken stuffed Msemen.
Why Ground Chicken Stuffed Msemen?
For the last day, I initially picked a sorrel dill stuffed flatbread. I was unable to source sorrel in the neighborhood and Friday, I made a trip to the Indian store, especially for sorrel leaves. Fortunately, I was able to grab the last of the bunches available in the store. However, I changed the plan in the last minute. Since it is a weekend and Mr U is home, I decided to make a flatbread with a meat filling, hence the ground chicken stuffed msemen.
When Mr U or, as a matter of fact, any company at home, my tiny little creative side of brain goes on a holiday and am blank when it comes to photographing food. The same happened yesterday and I am not really pleased with the pictures. I have no choice but use them. Today I have an appointment at dmv to renew my license and figured, cooking again and clicking might not work out. So, I will try to replace the pictures next time I make ground chicken stuffed Msemen.
To shape msemen, step 1 is roll dough into a very thin, almost transparent circle, fold the sides almost half way, and overlap the bottom and top ends to a make a square packet. Specially when making a stuffed msemen, step 2 is to place this square packet in another almost transparent dough circle, with the folded side facing down. Fold the sides, top and bottom to make a square packet. This way, both sides of the msemen is evenly covered with dough. The link I referred to prepare stuffed msemen skipped the second step and so did I. However, when making msemen, I realized why second step is important, in addition to getting a flaky flatbread.
In the first picture in the below collage, I did not pat the dough very thin. It should be even thinner and almost transparent. The last left picture is flatten msemen after stuffing, this is the side which has lot more dough as the edges were folded to this side, to make a square. The last picture is the other side and can see how thin the cover is, almost transparent and this how it is supposed to be. This is the reason I feel second step mentioned in above paragraph is necessary.
How to make Stuffed Msemen
Ground Chicken Stuffed Msemen ~ Rghaif
Filling (will require only ¼ - ⅓ of this filling)
- 2 ½ tbsp Oil
- 1 medium sized Onion or 1 cup diced Onion
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 cup diced mixed Sweet Peppers (2 Yellow, 2 orange and 3 red peppers)
- 2 tsp Chili Powder or Paprika adjust taste
- 1 tsp Salt adjust to taste
- 1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- 1 lb Ground Chicken
- ⅓ cup loosely packed chopped Cilantro
- 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ½ cup Water or more if necessary
- 3-4 tbsp Oil for coating making and cooking the flat bread. May not need all that oil
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions for a minute.
- Next add ginger garlic, sweet peppers and sauté for couple minutes until peppers are semi soft.
- Throw in chili powder, salt and cumin powder, and mix.
- Add ground chicken and mix breaking the mince.
- Keep stirring until mince separates and continue cooking until it is dry.
- Sprinkle chopped cilantro or parsley, mix and turn off the flame.
- Let the filling cool. This is a make ahead filling and make it a day or two in advance and store in the refrigerator.
- In a wide plate or a bowl, take salt, flour and mix.
- Gently pour water and make a dough.
- When the dough comes together, lightly flour dust a worktop or a clean countertop and knead the dough for 10 - 15 minutes with both the hands. 10 minutes is sufficient but I find kneading dough therapeutic and ended up kneading for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into four parts, shape each into a thick round disc and place in a bowl or a plate.
- Drizzle oil on each dough part to coat all around, cover with a cling wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
Making the flatbread
- Oil a clean surface or a plastic bag (ziplock) and using fingers, pat down one dough ball into a thin circle, about 7” in diameter. Make it as thin as possible, thinner than in the collage above.
- Place 3 tbsp of filling in the middle and spread around leaving about 1 - 1 ½” all around.
- Fold one of the sides over the filling and repeat the same on the other side.
- Now fold the top and the bottom to make a square.
- Keep it aside in a plate and shape rest of the flatbreads.
- Heat griddle to cook the bread.
- Take one square and gently pat it with hands to make a about a 6-7” square or a rectangle.
- Gradually lift it and place on a oiled griddle and cook for couple of minutes on each side or until cooked, on medium - medium low flame.
- Repeat the same with rest of the squares.
- Serve them for breakfast or as an evening snack. This was our lunch yesterday.
- Substitute sweet peppers with colored bell peppers.
- For veg option, use a mixture of chopped onion, bell peppers, cilantro, salt and pepper/chili powder. Fill this mixture in the flatbread and the veggies will cook along with the flatbread.