Variously written as bisteeya, bastilla, bestela, bastila, pastilla or pastila, this Moroccan pie has many variations but is traditionally an elaborately spiced preparation of pigeon, egg, almonds and warqa pastry, which is similar to Greek fillo pastry. It works well with almost any birds, including quail, chicken and guinea fowl, and is a great way to use up leftover cooked poultry. Traditionally the egg is scrambled into some of the poaching liquid, but the Method I’ve used here (borrowed from Chef Michael Rantissi of Kepos Street Kitchen – see video below) is a safer way to ensure crisp pastry. I like a refreshing salad alongside – like shaved fennel, fennel fronds, mint and oranges – and in the glass something rich and aromatic such as the pinot blanc from Bob and Rita Richter at Grey Sands in Tasmania.
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