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B'Steeya with Chicken

Photo: Ralph Anderson
Yield 8 servings


  • 4 pounds chicken pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted

How to Make It

  1. Bring first 13 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven; reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken, and set aside.

  2. Stir eggs into simmering broth; cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into a colander; drain 30 minutes. Place solids in a bowl.

  3. Skin and bone chicken; cut into bite-size pieces, and stir into egg mixture.

  4. Unfold phyllo, and cover with a damp towel to prevent drying.

  5. Brush a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with melted butter. Stack 4 phyllo sheets in skillet in a crisscross pattern, brushing each with butter and allowing edges to overhang. Crumple 2 phyllo sheets, and place in center of skillet.

  6. Stir together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar; sprinkle one-third mixture over phyllo, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup almonds. Stack 2 phyllo sheets over almonds, brushing each with butter. Spoon half of chicken mixture over phyllo. Crumple 1 phyllo sheet, and place in skillet. Stack 2 phyllo sheets over crumpled phyllo, brushing each with butter. Sprinkle with half of remaining powdered sugar mixture, and remaining 1/2 cup almonds. Stack 2 phyllo sheets over almonds, brushing each with butter. Crumple 1 phyllo sheet, and place in skillet. Spoon remaining half of chicken mixture over phyllo. Stack 2 phyllo sheets over chicken mixture, brushing each with butter. Fold draping edges over stack. Drizzle with remaining melted butter.

  7. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden. Invert onto a serving platter, and sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar mixture.