B’stilla-French Fridays with Dorie

A Moroccan dish traditionally served for sumptuous wedding feasts or other grand occasions, B’stilla-bastila-pronounced basteela was originally made with pigeon or squab. Cinnamon, coriander, ground ginger, the earthy saffron and onions along with the meat-flavorful skinless chicken thighs are a more modern substitution- marinate briefly at room temperature or in the fridge for no more than a day, then is cooked in chicken broth until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. The aroma while cooking wafts through my kitchen. This is definitely going to be a hit with my family.

The magic begins when the tender chicken is removed from the bone, set aside and the strained broth is reduced about half. Then a swirl of eggs, honey and lemon juice is whisked in and cooked until a lovely sauce is achieved. The chicken along with cilantro and parsley are mixed into the sauce. Encased in buttered filo dough sheets sprinkled with toasted almonds, the prepared b’stilla is brushed with butter and dusted with cinnamon sugar. The chicken and sauce can be made up to a day ahead and chilled until ready for the filo dough construction. After baking, the b’stilla can be served warm or room temperature.  A great dish meant to be eaten with the hands, but I find forks much easier.  Personally, I would like a thinner pie, so would make the b’stilla using the same amount of filling to make two pies, but keeping the same filo dough requirements for the one pie. The recipe for this delicious can be found in “Around My French Table” by Dorie Greenspan. French Fridays with Dorie is a group formed to cook all the fabulous recipes in this marvelous cookbook.


  1. Cher
    January 29, 2011 / 2:46 am

    Very nice. Those pictures make it look almost too pretty to eat! It looks more like art…

  2. lola
    January 29, 2011 / 2:55 am

    Enjoyed your pictures. I loved this dish!

  3. scrambledhenfruit
    January 29, 2011 / 3:36 am

    Oohh…I love your flaky filo!

  4. Amy
    January 29, 2011 / 4:24 am

    The flaky crust looks great. I love the theme your blog has also. Keep up the good work.

  5. Lynne
    January 29, 2011 / 1:06 pm

    Cher-thanks, it's nice to hear from you!Lola-thanks, I loved this one, too.scrambledhenfruit-thanksAmy-thanks, I appreciate your comment.

  6. Beth
    January 29, 2011 / 3:45 pm

    That picture looks sooo tasty. I too can't see eating this with my hands. I guess that's because I took too big of a piece! I'm glad you liked it. B:)

  7. Kay Heritage
    January 29, 2011 / 7:28 pm

    Beautiful photo, as always and phyllo dish looks scrumptious!! And YES, please let me know when you will be in Savannah!!!!

  8. Chiara
    January 30, 2011 / 2:20 pm

    lovely photos and tasty recipe, I love it!

  9. Steve
    January 30, 2011 / 5:07 pm

    Lynn, just beautiful. I have the book but somehow passed this one by. Just pulled the book out to get this on the "to make" pile.Steve

  10. Beth
    January 30, 2011 / 7:06 pm

    B'stilla my heart. It looks great!

  11. Lael Hazan @educatedpalate
    February 1, 2011 / 1:52 pm

    Thank you for telling us about the dish, I've not had it previously, but the marriage of the ingredients sounds divine.

  12. Lynne
    February 5, 2011 / 1:50 pm

    Beth-the b'stilla doesn't look like finger food to me either, but it's divine with a fork.Kay-thanks-will do.Chiara-thanksSteve-glad you have the book-it's great as is this recipe.Beth-i love your humor-thanks!Lael-thanks-

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