B’stilla for a Crowd

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| Servings: 12 servings


  • 4 pounds chicken thighs and legs
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 1 three inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron
  • 3 sprigs cilantro
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 pound whole blanched almonds
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 10 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ pound phyllo
  • Powdered sugar and cinnamon


  1. Combine first 11 ingredients in a Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet, add the almonds and brown lightly.  Drain well.  Transfer to a food processor and pulse five or six times.  Add the sugar and cinnamon and pulse until course.  Add ¼ cup of butter and pulse three more times.  Reserve.
  3. Remove chicken, cinnamon stick, and any loose bones from the Dutch oven.  Reduce liquid to 1 ¾ cup by boiling.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add the lemon juice.  Pour eggs into the sauce and stir until cooked and slightly congealed.  Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate until cool.  Pour off any liquid that settles.  Salt to taste.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Shred the chicken and discard bones and skin.
  5. Brush a 12 inch cake pan with butter.  Place one sheet of the phyllo in the pan and lightly butter.  Continue with several more sheets to overlap and drape over the side of the pan buttering each one before laying another one in it.  Reserve 5 sheets for the top.
  6. Spread chicken over the phyllo.  Cover with the drained egg mixture.  Sprinkle with the almond mixture.
  7. Fold phyllo over the filling, brushing each lightly with butter.  Place reserved sheets over the top, tuck in and brush with butter.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.  Pour off excess butter and invert onto a baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes more.
  9. Invert into a serving platter and dust with the powdered sugar and cinnamon.

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