Wednesday 17 May 2017

Globecooking recipe : Chicken Tava (Turkey)

Having seen someone mentioning cooking Chicken Tava on twitter, I went to investigate and discovered that it is a Turkish dish, originally created in Incirlik to appeal to the palates of the American military based there. The problem is, there seem to be as many different recipes as there are cooks and they vary quite a lot - some include potatoes and/or cheese, some use tinned tomatoes while some have a couple of fresh tomatoes in them and others don't have tomatoes in therr at all so it's a much drier dish, some use chicken breast, some use chicken thighs and some a whole chicken ... I read about ten different recipes then shut them all down and made it up as I went along using whatever was in my kitchen. The result was very tasty, although goodness knows how authentic it is !

Chicken Tava

ingredients :

drizzle of olive oil
2 onions
4 chicken breasts
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
4 mushrooms
a handful of black olives
1tsp Turkish spice (brought back from a Turkish market - not sure what's in it but it's mildly spicy)
1tsp thyme
1tsp cumin
salt, pepper
1tsp harissa or chilli paste
2tsp garlic paste
a tin of chopped tomatoes
a squeeze of tomato puree
some cheese (I used feta and parmesan)

Start by gently frying the onions (and garlic if using fresh instead of paste) in the olive oil.

Chop the chicken and add to the pan.

Throw in the herbs and spices, salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir.

Add the mushrooms and peppers.Keep cooking until the veggies are soft and the chicken is cooked through (but not overcooked - we want juicy chicken, not tough dry chicken !).

Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, the black olives and a squeeze of tomato puree.

Stir through the garlic paste and harissa. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding extra salt, herbs and spices to suit your tastes.

Crumble some cheese over the top - I used feta and parmesan but you could use cheddar or mozzarella too. Pop under the grill to help the cheese melt. (My feta went soft but refused to melt for some reason !)

Serve with rice and/or Turkish flatbread - hmmm I'd forgotten how good freshly cooked pide is. We'll be heading back to Turkey this summer so I'll definitely be eating lots of that again !

Fancy trying some more Turkish cuisine? How about :

Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky because it used up the end of the feta and also some of the condiments (harissa, garlic paste, tomato puree) cluttering up the fridge.

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