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Çerkez Tavuğu (Circassian Chicken)

shantihhh's picture
Cerkez Chicken (Circassian Chicken) is a favourite mezze o ours. It is served with pita bread triangles and small romaine or endive leaves which I love.
  Chicken breast 1 Large
  Walnuts 3 Cup (48 tbs)
  Bread slices 5
  Roasted garlic 8 Clove (40 gm)
  Salt 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Black pepper 1 Teaspoon
  Chicken broth 2 1⁄2 Cup (40 tbs)
  Olive oil 2 Teaspoon
  Red cayenne pepper To Taste
  Shallots 2 Tablespoon, fried
  Pita bread 1 , fried
  Romaine lettuce 3 (Inner small leaves)
  Flat leaf italian parsley 1 Teaspoon, garnish
  Oil 1 Tablespoon
  Walnut oil 1 Tablespoon
  Aleppo pepper 1⁄4 Teaspoon

Simmer chicken in water for 35 minutes or until tender; drain. Reserve broth. Bone chicken. Remove skin.

Cut or tear into 5-6 cm (1-1 ½ inch) long and 1-1 ½ cm (1/4-1/2 inch) thick strips.

Arrange leaves and pita bread around the side of the dish/platter.

Then arrange the chicken into the center of the serving dish or large platter just to the edges of the pita and romaine.

Set aside.

Combine walnuts, bread slices (soaked in reserved chicken broth and squeezed dry) garlic; chopped crisp shallots, mix well.

Place into blender or a food processor container. Process until well blended.

Add salt, black pepper and chicken broth gradually blending thoroughly until it gets medium white sauce consistency.

Pour over chicken.

Heat oil. Stir in red pepper.
Remove from heat.
Sprinkle over walnut sauce.
To make the red-tinted oil: Gently reheat the cooked chicken in a 350° F oven until warm. Heat the walnut oil in a very small saucepan, add the Near East pepper, and swirl to combine; heat just to a sizzle. Remove from the heat and allow the pepper to settle. Dribble the red-tinted oil over the surface of the dish, making decorative swirls.
Garnish with a little chopped parsley
Serve at room temperature.

This is an easy tasty first course.

Excellent with a dry crisp white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

The dish originated from the Circassians. It is called “Mamursa” in Bolu province and served with traditional corn bread.

In original recipe walnuts are crushed between two stones and oil is dispersed. This oil is sprinkled over walnut sauce.

In some villages of Bolu, boiled rice is used instead of bread in sauce. In the black sea region hazelnuts are substituted for walnuts.

This dish is very popular all over the country. It is usually prepared for buffet type luncheons or suppers, or served on special days as an appetizer. It may be garnished with parsley.

Recipe Summary

Kids, Gourmet, Party
Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
30 Minutes
Ready In: 
45 Minutes
For the best flavor, begin preparing this dish at least two days in advance of serving; this chicken improves with time. It keeps up to a week in the refrigerator if carefully covered. Serve warm, not hot, with a simple bulgur or rice pilaf.

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Average: 4.4 (10 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 295 Calories from Fat 182

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 21 g31.6%

Saturated Fat 2.1 g10.6%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 10.9 mg3.6%

Sodium 308.2 mg12.8%

Total Carbohydrates 17 g5.6%

Dietary Fiber 3.7 g14.8%

Sugars 1.8 g

Protein 11 g21.3%

Vitamin A 125.7% Vitamin C 30.9%

Calcium 6.5% Iron 11.7%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Çerkez Tavuğu (Circassian Chicken) Recipe