Pigeon bistayeea

Recipe from Greg Malouf

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 0
  • fat 0g
  • saturates 0g
  • carbs 0g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 0g
  • salt 0g


  • 6 Squab pigeons, about 400g each (can be swapped for duck or chicken legs, cook until they are tender)
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 8 threads saffron, lightly roasted and crushed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bullet chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 60ml sherry
  • 1.2l chicken stock
  • 4 eggs
  • Handful of parsley leaves, finely shredded
  • Handful of coriander leaves, finely shredded
  • 12 sheets of filo pastry
  • 150g melted clarified butter
  • 100g flaked almonds, fried in vegetable oil and drained
  • 50ml canola oil
  • 100g icing sugar sifted with 20g cinnamon powder
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly milled white pepper


  1. Wash the pigeons and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Remove the legs and breasts, and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat half the oil in a heavy pan and sauté the pigeon pieces until golden brown. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, saffron, cinnamon, cumin and chili, adding more oil if necessary. Stir so the pigeon is well coated with spices.

  3. Add the sherry and stock, bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until the pigeon is tender. When cool enough, remove the meat from the pigeon, discarding skin and bones, and shred it coarsely.

  4. Reduce the poaching liquid by a half and then add the eggs and whisk until well combined. Pour this mixture into a small saucepan, season and scramble over gentle heat until creamy and nearly set. Stir in parsley and fresh coriander, and check seasonings. Then allow the mixture to cool completely. Stir the meat into the egg mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.

  5. To make the filo pies, work with one sheet of pastry at a time. Lay one sheet on the work surface and brush with melted butter. Fold in half then with another sheet repeat the same. Brush one sheet with butter and lay the other sheet across to form a cross. Place the filo cross in the base of a small black pan pushing the filo into the sides. Scatter with 2 teaspoons of fried almonds then spoon on the meat-egg mixture till it is level with the top of the pan. Brush the top of the filo with melted butter and then bring the surrounding pastry sides up and over the filling to make a flat surface. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

  6. Place pan in the centre of an oven, preheated 190C and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Place a metal skewer on a naked flame and heat until glowing red-hot. Remove the pan from the oven and turn out the pie from the pan to a plate and sprinkle with cinnamon and icing sugar mix. Score with a scorching hot skewer to form a pattern of your liking. Serve immediately.

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