Moroccan Chicken & Egg Pie (Bisteeya/B'stilla)

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“This Moroccan dish is usually served at weddings. An authentic bisteeya has almonds & powered sugar inside the pie & dusted on top. My family & I didn't like the sweet flavor so I omitted it from the recipe. The first time you make this recipe it may seem overwhelming because of all the steps but it is well worth it. Having a second pair of hands is a big help when making this dish. I got my 12-yr-old to stir the eggs while I pulled apart the chicken. The second & third time I made it I used my pressure cooker & it cut down the cooking time significantly.”
2hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse the chicken & remove any fat. Crush the garlic & mix with the salt & pepper. Cover the chicken with the mixture & let marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Place the chicken in a large pot. Add the water, butter, parsley, onion, cinnamon sticks, & spices to the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, & simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the chicken, cinnamon sticks, & any loose bones from the pan & set aside.
  4. Boil the sauce rapidly, uncovered, until it is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, then add the lemon juice. Lower the heat until the sauce is simmering.
  5. Beat the eggs until they are frothy & then add to the sauce. Stir continuously until the eggs are cooked. (They should become curdy, stiff, & dry.) Taste for salt & set aside.
  6. Remove all the bones from the chicken. Then shred into 1 inch pieces.
  7. Note: All the steps done until now can be prepared in advanced, even the day before.
  8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Thaw the phyllo dough for use later.
  9. Heat 1/4 cup sweet butter until melted. When the foam subsides, clarify it by pouring the clear liquid butter into a small bowl & discard the milky solids.
  10. Unroll the dough, keeping it under a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.
  11. Fold 4 leaves in half & bake in the oven until crisp but not too brown, set aside.
  12. Brush some of the clarified butter on the bottom & sides of a 9x13 cake pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with 2 pastry leaves.
  13. Arrange 6 more leaves so that they cover half the bottom of the pan & half extend over the sides. (The entire bottom of the pan should be covered.) Brush the extended leaves with butter so they do not dry out.
  14. Scatter pieces of chicken on the bottom of the pan so there is a thin layer. Layer some of the well-drained egg mixture on top of the chicken. Place the 4 crisp leaves on top of the egg layer.
  15. Add another thin layer of chicken & then a thin layer of eggs (using all that is left).
  16. Cover the layers with all but 2 of the remaining phyllo leaves, brushing each one very lightly with butter.
  17. Fold the extended leaves over the top cover of the pie & brush lightly with butter. Put the remaining 2 leaves on top, lightly brush with butter, & fold these neatly under the pie (like tucking in sheets). Brush the entire pie again with butter.
  18. Bake the pie in the oven for 20 minutes (the top leaves will be golden brown).
  19. Shake the pan to loosen the pie. Invert the pie onto a large, buttered baking sheet.
  20. Brush top of the pie (which used to be the bottom) with more butter & return to the oven. Continue to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  21. Place a large serving plate over the pie, hold firmly & invert so the pie is on the plate. Serve hot -- .

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