Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins
This will break your mouth as they say down south. Its just fantastic if you like exotic flavors and good old fashioned chicken pot pie!
- 14 tablespoons butter
- 3 1⁄2 lbs whole chickens, cut up into 4 pieces skin removed
- 1 large onion, minced
- salt and pepper
- 3 3⁄4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1⁄2 teaspoon saffron thread
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1⁄4 cup chicken stock
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup blanched almond (whole)
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 3⁄4 lb phyllo dough
- In a large skillet put 2 tablespoons butter, the chicken pieces, onions, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper,2 teaspoons cinnamon, the ginger, cumin, cayenne, saffron, turmeric and chicken stock.
- simmer gently, covered, until the chicken is cooked, 45 minutes.
- remove the chicken from the sauce and let it cool.
- remove all the bones and tear the chicken into 1 inch pieces.
- bring the liquid to a simmer and add the eggs stirring gently until the eggs are cooked and most of the liquid is evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes.
- add the chicken, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Toast the almonds in the oven until they are very lightly golden and hot to the touch, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Coarsely chop them in a blender or food processor and mix with 3 tablespoons sugar and 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon.
- set aside and reserve the rest of the cinnamon sugar for a garnish.
- Melt the remaining 12 tablespoons butter. brush a 12 inch pie pan with the butter.
- place one sheet of phyllo dough on the bottom of the pie plate so that it completely covers the bottom of the plate and extends over one side by several inches.
- brush the whole sheet of phyllo lightly and continue with 7 more sheets moving in a pinwheel effect, brushing butter on each sheet.
- spread the chicken mixture on the phyllo and sprinkle with the almond mixture.
- Fold the overhanging phyllo up over the chicken and almonds and brush with butter.
- then continue adding 7 more sheets of phyllo to the pie as your did before.
- tuck all the overhanging edges under the pie and brush remaining butter over top of the pie.
- place in 375F oven and bake until golden brown and flaky, about 20 minutes.
- sprinkle the garnishing cinnamon and sugar over top.
I decided to go with a Moroccan theme at a recent dinner for friends. I loved B'steya when we've been to Moroccan restaurants so I thought I would try this. Remembering how flaky the philo pastry crust can be though, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of making the pie as described, I assembled it like Spanikopita--making the pastries into individual triangles. It turned out to be a real hit!
This was so much fun to make! I used this recipe for a project at my school, and everyone thought it was very delicious! Some people didn't try it, though, because it does look pretty foreign. I think that the recipe underestimated the time it takes to make this. Even though I made 2 pies, it still took about 3 or 4 hours. I'm not surprised that it takes a long time because bisteeya is often served at muslim weddings and at eid al-fitr, which are both very special occasions. The best part of making it was doing the phyllo dough because it's almost like putting layers of paper on the pie!
I really liked the unique, exotic flavors of bisteeya. It is slightly slightly spicy, and it's also sweet and crunchy from the almonds. Warning, though, it is very buttery and messy to serve.
This is very good, and something a little different. It was a lot of work to put together, but worth it! Thanks for posting this unique recipe.