Skip to main content

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.


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


  • 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

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.



  • 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)

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P