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Turkey: Soganli Tavuk Yahnisi and Muhallebi #CookingAroundtheWorldAdventure


Last night was our first Cooking Around the World Adventure in almost two years! And tonight, we have another nation under our collective culinary belts. We haven't located our atlases, from our move last summer, but the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf is more than happy to look up information online and read it to us.

from worldatlas.com

About Turkey...
Geographically, Turkey spans two continents: Europe and Asia. However, it lies primarily on the Asian side. For a size reference, Turkey is slightly larger than the state of Texas and, as of the summer of 2013, its population was just over 80 million people.

Though Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey - and is the third most populous European city - it is not the capital; Ankara is, in fact, the capital of Turkey.

The Precise Kitchen Elf just started reading the Odyssey in his English class. I told him that the ancient city of Troy was located in modern day Turkey. Side note: I absolutely adore his reading list for that class. Oh, my goodness, I almost hugged his teacher on back to school night. I was so tickled to see Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Homer, and more. Okay...back to the food....

On Our Plates...
Though there are lots of Turkish dishes we have tried, I wanted to use the ingredients I had in the fridge. I stumbled upon a simple stew with chicken and onions for our main dish and an easy pudding made with rice flour and milk. Dinner is served!

Soganli Tavuk Yahnisi

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 2 sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1½ C tomato sauce
  • 2 T gluten-free flour
  • 1½ C water
  • ½ t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t ground cumin




Procedure
Melt butter in olive oil in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the onions and sauté until they start to turn translucent. Add in the chopped chicken and sauté until cooked through.

Stir in the flour, black pepper, and ground cumin. Toss to coat all the chicken with the flour. Pour in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thickened and reduced, approximately 20 minutes.


Ladle stew hot over a bed of cooked rice.

I picked this dessert because I thought they were pretty - that shock of garnet pomegranate arils on the snowy white pudding - so lovely! Though this is traditionally made with rosewater, that is a polarizing ingredient in my household. Two of us love it; two of us despise it. So, I swapped out for vanilla and topped two of the servings with dried rose petals.

Muhallebi

Ingredients

  • ½ C rice flour
  • 3 C whole milk
  • 4 T organic granulated sugar
  • pinch of fleur de sel
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • slivered almonds, for garnish
  • pomegranate arils, for garnish
  • dried rose petals, for garnish (optional)



Procedure
In a medium saucepan, whisk together rice flour, milk, sugar, and fleur de sel until dissolved. Keep stirring with a whisk, over a medium heat, until the mixture comes to a simmer. 

Once the thickened to hold whisk marks, remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into individual bowls and let cool. To serve, garnish with almonds, pomegranate arils, and a dash of ground cinnamon. If you're using dried rose petals, place a few on top of the garnish.


What a fun Turkish meal that I easily pulled together after a long day of work! We will definitely be making both of these again soon. Next we're off to Turkmenistan.

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