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How does bisteeya make any sense?

Anyone ever had it? Or tried the recipe featured on Chow just now? http://www.joepastry.com/2011/making-...

I want to try it but I just can't make chicken, scrambled eggs and cinnamon toasted almonds go together in my head.

I'm thinking maybe I'd try the roasted root veggie variation first time out for less Euro-centric clash of savory and sweet. But am I just being a weenie about this?

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  1. It may not make any sense in your head, but it is absolutely delicious. I love it, and have been thinking about making it again. I used to make it, make some kabobs, and I love to serve the salads with it. You should try it, it is not as hard as you think.

    12 Replies
    1. re: paprkutr

      Does it make sense for me to try it with winter squash, turnips and/or parsnips first? Or should I just develop a sense of adventure and go for it with the chicken?

      Apart from the culinary chaos of it -- said with full acknowledging of my sweet-is-sweet-and-chicken-is-savory bias -- I'm not in the least intimidated by the construction. Sounds very do-able. Just concerned about it being so out of the realm of my food experiences.

      1. re: rainey

        NO, no, no. The veggie version just sounds like a schizophrenic pumpkin pie. Go for the real thing -- you'll be glad you did.

        It's actually supposed to be made with pigeon or squab, but dark meat chicken will do in a pinch.

        Do you have a Moroccan restaurant in your area where you can just try some before you invest half a day in making one and having it possibly not come out right?

        1. re: acgold7

          Nope. Nothing Moroccan that I can think of that's why it would be incumbent on me to do this in order to have the unique experience.

          OK. I can remember having the same reservations the first time I put cinnamon on ground lamb to make pastitsio. If you guys tell me I'm holding myself back I'm gonna go for it!

          1. re: rainey

            There are many middle-eastern and Mediterranean dishes that blend sweet and savory and are fantastic. This is stellar and I think you'll love it. Certainly it is no weirder than General Tso's Chicken.

            1. re: rainey

              Yep, you're holding yourself back. B'steeya is a tricky dish to execute but absolutely wonderful, especially since it mixes two ingredients that aren't typically associated with each other: sweet cinnamon pastry and a curry-esque chicken/pigeon.

              Go to it!

              1. re: biggreenmatt

                "Tricky"? What do I need to be careful about to get the best results. The Chow recipe doesn't look difficult.

                1. re: rainey

                  It doesn't look all that difficult, actually. But some people are put off by messing with phyllo dough and I guess you could overcook the eggs or the poultry. Others balk at anything with more than two steps. But you seem pretty accomplished and confident, so go for it and let us know what you think.

                  1. re: rainey

                    It can get soggy, so drain everything well before you layer it in the phyllo.

                    1. re: sr44

                      Thanks for that useful bit of info.

                      I've gotten the stuff and I might be able to do it tomorrow.

              2. re: acgold7

                I was just thinking about making a batch the other day... I used a Gourmet Magazine recipe for a special event back while I was catering and loved every little bite! I think this CHOW recipe is worth a shot!
                http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/...

              3. re: rainey

                There's nothing odd about it if it's prepared well. Flavors balance nicely.

                1. re: rainey

                  As the others have said, go for the gold. It is really good, I just put powdered sugar on top with cinnamon. Don't worry, just do it and I bet you will love it. As I said above, incorporated with someother foods, especially the salads eaten with bread and your hands. Great. Let us know how it goes.

              4. I've tried it once and it was fabulous. Definitely give it a go!

                1. This is very similar to a Chinese mooncake made with shredded beef (or bbq meat) and nuts. Sweet and savory, and all wrapped up in a flaky pastry like crust.

                  1. I get why it seems like it won't work, but there is something addictive about the sweet and savory combination. Try it!

                    1. Rainey, it's not as sweet as teriyaki chicken, nor duck a l"orange, unless you make it that way. The most famous Moroccan restaurant in SF, Azizza, puts a lot of sugar in theirs, which I don't like as much as all the other Moroccan versions I've tried which only garnishes with a little sugar.

                      It's also not tricky to make, if you're already familiar with filo dough. Just be sure to drain the chicken and eggs so you don't get it soggy. Have fun - it's delicious.