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Circassian chicken

We’re not sure if we would would have ever made this except for having a load of walnuts and red peppers that needed used. Definitely one of the most interesting dishes we’ve cooked this year. We’ve had it warm and also cold; as a side dish and in a floury bap for lunch; a tasty starter and a midnight snack. Delicious every time.

Wine Suggestion: If you decide to eat this warm or cold you need the spice a red wine gives and a chill for freshness and vitality; 30 minutes in the fridge is sufficient, so chilled, not freezing! We’d recommend either a Spanish red, the Jesus Romero Rubus, a rarity from Teruel in Aragon or if you’d like to push the boat out Laurent Combier’s Cap Nord, one of the best Crozes-Hermitage we’ve tried in a long while. The link between these is Syrah, so if you find another one you like try chilling this and giving it a go with this dish.

Circassian Chicken – serves 3-4

  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 200g walnuts halves
  • 1 slice stale white bread, made into breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • small handful of coriander, chopped

FOR THE PEPPER DRESSING:

  • 1 tbsp red pepper paste/½ tsp sweet paprika & ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt

Put the chicken stock into a large pot with the chicken breasts. Bring to the boil, then simmer and poach for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Blitz 150g of the walnuts in a food processor to make a powder, then add the breadcrumbs and garlic with enough of the poaching stock to make a creamy sauce. Season with salt.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl until combined.

Pull the cooked chicken into long pieces and combine with the walnut sauce and chopped coriander. Drizzle with the red pepper dressing and decorate with the reserved walnuts.

(Original recipe from Venice to Istanbul by Rick Stein, BBC Books, 2015.)

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