Circassian chicken

Circassian chicken
  • Serves icon Serves 12
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40 min, Simmering time 50 min

This traditional Turkish mezze dish of chicken and spices is a perfect buffet or dinner party dish.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
332kcals
Fat
19.2g fat (3.9g saturated)
Protein
32.4g protein
Carbohydrates
7.7g (2.5g sugars)
Fibre
1.2g
Salt
0.3g
Calories
332kcals
Fat
19.2g fat (3.9g saturated)
Protein
32.4g protein
Carbohydrates
7.7g (2.5g sugars)
Fibre
1.2g
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 1 large free-range chicken
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pared zest 1 lemon
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 8 cloves, tops pinched
  • Large pinch chilli flakes
  • 60ml walnut oil
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 150ml natural yogurt
  • Large handful chopped fresh tarragon

For the sauce:

  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika, plus a little extra to sprinkle
  • ½ tsp hot paprika
  • 2 chunky slices sourdough bread, crusts removed
  • 175g shelled walnuts
  • Lemon juice to taste

Method

  1. Put the chicken in a large pot with the onion, celery, thyme, bay leaves, lemon zest, peppercorns, cloves and chilli flakes. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 45-50 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the pan, strain the stock into a large jug or bowl (discard the flavourings) and set aside to cool (see tip).
  2. Meanwhile, warm the walnut oil gently with the sweet paprika, then set aside to infuse.
  3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and both paprikas and fry for a minute or two more.
  4. Dip the bread into the reserved chicken stock, then squeeze out most of it and set aside.
  5. Grind the walnuts in a food processor, then add the onion mixture and pulse to combine. Add the soaked bread and season well with salt and ground black pepper. Gradually pour in enough poaching stock, with the motor running, to create a sauce with the thickness of mayonnaise. Add a good squeeze of lemon and check the seasoning.
  6. Shred the meat from the chicken and toss with the walnut sauce, yogurt and almost all the chopped tarragon. Serve drizzled with the paprika walnut oil, extra paprika and the remaining tarragon.

delicious. tips

  1. Leftover stock will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or can be frozen in small batches for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen.

    This is perfect as a buffet dish, or served with a salad and couscous for lunch. If you’re feeding smaller numbers, the recipe is easily halved.

  2. Poach the chicken the day before, remove it from the liquid and leave to cool, reserving the stock. Strip the meat from the chicken carcass, then chill.

  3. If you want more of an ‘orgy of garlic’, as the book describes, stir the crushed garlic cloves into the sauce raw.

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