Posted by: Catherine | June 10, 2009

B’Steeya (*RR)



(*Reader Recipe)

“Whenever I have made this scrumptious dish people have literally bowed at my feet. I assume no responsibility for what happens after you serve b’steeya.” So says Nancy Mehegian, the fabulous cook/author/healer who made this dish for our Siren’s Feast dinner (check out Carrot and Beet Salad, too). There was no actual bowing at my house that night, but the discussion of Nancy’s book began with several guests begging for details on how to make this incredible recipe. OMG, so good, so unusual: Armenian-spiced chicken with ground almonds and pine nuts wrapped in filo…slightly sweet, extremely exotic and so very impressive.

Serves 8 to 10

1 whole chicken

2 T butter

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Small bunch mint leaves, finely chopped

Small bunch parsley, finely chopped

1 t. turmeric

1 t. cumin or ras el hanout

1 t. fresh grated ginger root

1 T tamari soy sauce

1 t. salt

1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 1/2 t. cinnamon

1 T butter

6 eggs, beaten

Juice of 2 lemons

1 lb. filo dough

3/4 cup butter

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Begin by boiling whole chicken (with excess fat removed) in about 2 quarts spring water for approximately 45 minutes. Remove the chicken, reserving broth. Carefully debone and shred the chicken, removing all skin and gristle. Set aside.

In a large heavy skillet heat butter and olive oil. Next stir in onions and garlic and sauté until tender. Next add mint, parsely, ginger, soy sauce, and all spices, blending well. Stir in the chicken broth and continue cooking over a low flame to reduce liquid. Stir in the shredded chicken and set aside.

In another dry skillet (preferably cast iron), brown the pine nuts and almonds over a medium flame, stirring constantly so they do not burn. When the nuts are golden brown allow them to cool, then grind them in a blender, food processor or nut grinder until finely ground. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Again, using a skillet or frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter, stir in a mixture of the 6 beaten eggs and lemon juice. Scramble this mixture, stirring constantly, for a few minutes. When done, eggs will look soft and curdled. Set aside.

In a small saucepan melt 3/4 cup butter. Remove the filo dough from its box. Using a round baking dish or a 10 to 12 inch seasoned cast iron skillet, begin laying the dough, brushing it with butter every two layers, and crossing the dough every two layers. The edges of the filo will hang over the sides of the skillet. Brush overhanging edges with butter so they do not dry out. (Nancy highly recommends using the cast iron skillet for perfect, even baking.)

When all the dough has been layered in this manner place the chicken mixture on the bottom. Layer the scramble egg mixture next and finally sprinkle the nut and sugar mixture over the top of the eggs.

Next, carefully fold the overhanging edges of the dough in towards the middle , then brush the whole top of the pie with melted butter.

Place skillet or baking dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until pastry is evenly golden brown. When done, remove from the oven and carefully invert on a platter. Dust the top with powdered sugar, slice and serve hot from the oven.

Other Recipes from Nancy

dsc_0109 Cheese Beorag

dsc_0044 Orange Salad

eggplant Armenian Eggplant Salad

dessertdetao1 Kataif–Honey Shredded-Dough Pastry

taboulehdetail Tabbouli

walnutdipMuhammara–Lebanese Walnut Dip

beetredo2 Carrot and Beet Salad



  1. I have wanted to make this for YEARS! It looks amazing here. Okay, that’s it, I swear for my next dinner party, this is on the menu.

  2. My family favorite, I make it from time to time and never get bored of it. I always make it with duck, quails, or lamb. I should try it with chicken next time. Delicious!

  3. Oh how scrumptious – from the boiling of the chicken in spring water to the toasting of the nuts to the combination of all into the pastry. I have never heard of this recipe – this is a “must do.” Truly beautiful.

  4. WOW, that looks amazingly delicious! I’ve never this dish, and would love to try it! Fabulous combination of flavors here!

  5. How impressive. It’s beautiful!! I can see why your guests were wowed. It sounds delicious!!

  6. I love this dish, I order it all the time at a local restaurant. I want to try making it at home!

  7. This is good dish! WOW for entertaining, I ‘m going to make this dish over the weekend ! Grand Idea!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe! And thanks for stoping by:)

    “Join our growing food community and submit your heirloom recipe for all the world to share:)


  8. I am amazed!!
    What a lot of work though!
    This eating for dinner looks so lovely: what a feast for the eyes!

  9. Wow, from the spices, herbs and all the way to the nuts, this dish has it all going on. I would bow too! I appreciate all the work that goes into this dish, it is truly a work of art.

  10. Oh heavens. I think if I made this dish Mr. B would not only bow but kiss my feet! I have got to locate some phyllo dough and give this a try. Wow.

  11. I’ve never heard of that before. It looks so good. I wonder if you could cook the whole chicken in the crock pot and then get the meat off that way?? Then most of that work is done if you were to make this on a week night.

    You have great dinner parties!

  12. This recipe is really going to keep me busy in the kitchen with all its glamor. This is another must for the weekend! Thanks for the round up of yummies!

  13. catherine, this is AMAZING! i’m the biggest fan ever of sweet pies, but savory pies are really creeping up the list. this one has it all–phyllo, CINNAMON, nuts, awesome herbs. it’s gorgeous. 🙂

  14. Catherine,
    Such a nice dish…love the way that you mounted, look so elegant…the flavor must be heaven, cinnamon, almonds…yummie. Great pictures!

  15. That’s a meat pies of all meat pies! Super fabulous. We’ll take 2 big pieces.

  16. When a baklava meets a meat pot pie. MMMM

  17. The last time I had this classic Moroccan dish was in Fez many years ago. It was amazing. I remember the waiter telling us that the dish should be eaten with rose wine. Also there was a women dancing at the restaurant with lots of veils but that’s another story —

  18. This looks so delicious. I’ll love to taste that dish.

  19. Yummmm… it must tasted wonderful!

  20. Lovely B’steeya!!! I’ve made the Moroccan version as well, quite memorable, people did almost bow… I saw a couple lick their plates!

  21. Your b’steeya looks insane. Mouthwatering. Ack … now I have to wipe off my keyboard 😉

  22. This looks amazing…and totally out of my culinary comfort zone. I am bookmarking it for a future cooking adventure!! Looks delicious!!!

  23. This savoury pie looks so good! It sounds really tasty as well!

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