Making Bastilla (Bisteeya)

I spent a lot of time playing in orchestra pits as a youth. Trombone at first, then later bass. I played high school musicals mostly, and let me tell you, those were some tough scores! But fun. I particularly enjoyed the overtures, when the house lights would go down, the strings would come up and the orchestra would acquaint the audience with the musical themes they would be hearing over the next couple of hours.


Bastilla (Bisteeya) Recipe

Trying to be as flexible as possible, I’m including equivalents for squab and chicken as well as vegetables (a couple vegetarian readers weighed in on this preemptively).

1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ras el hanout (a.k.a. “Moroccan Spice”), optional
2 pigeons (squab) OR about 2 pounds chicken pieces of your choice OR about 1.25 pounds root vegetables of your choice
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of saffron threads
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley