Saturday, April 21, 2007

Binnur's Turkish Cookbok: Firinda Meyaneli Tavuk (Chicken with White Sauce) and Acma (Soft Turkish Bagels)

Even though I spent a couple of days in Turkey back in 2001, the food that I ate there must not have been memorable, because I can't remember any of it. I figured it had to be better than that. I searched some Turkish recipe websites for some inspiration, and I finally came up with Chicken with White Sauce, called Firinda Meyaneli Tavuk. It seemed filling and pleasing without needing ingredients I had never heard of. I decided to make some Soft Turkish Bagels to go on the side, but I substituted poppy seed for the black sesame seeds called for in the original recipe. While the Chicken with White Sauce came out bland and rather tasteless, the Turkish bagels were delectable.

Firinda Meyaneli Tavuk (Chicken with White Sauce)
From Binnur's Turkish Cookbook

1 whole chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 fresh green onions, chopped
2 zucchini, cut in medium sized chunks
6-7 white mushrooms, brushed, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Kashar cheese (or Mozzarella), shredded (for garnish)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup flour
1 cup warm milk

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Boil the whole chicken with water in a large pot. Take the chicken out of the stock and let it cool down. Discard the skin and all the bones from the chicken and tear it apart in medium sized chunks with your fingers.

In a large skillet, cook the onion with olive oil over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Then add the garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté until the smell of the garlic comes out.

Add the flour, stir and slowly pour the warm milk in it while stirring constantly. The milk and flour should blend very well. Turn the heat off. Mix the chicken, zucchini, mushroom and green onions with the flour sauce and arrange them in a baking dish. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.

Makes 4 servings

Acma (Soft Turkish Bagels)

7 grams instant yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
2½ tablespoons sugar
½ cup lukewarm milk
½ cup sunflower oil
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt

1 egg white, lightly beaten
Nigella seeds (black sesame seeds)

Mix the yeast with warm water in a large bowl. Stir well so the yeast dissolves, then add the sugar, milk, and sunflower oil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the flour and salt slowly and knead. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap over the rim and let it rest for about 2 hours until the dough rises to twice its size.

Take a small-size ball from the dough and make it longer by spinning it. Then close up the ends to make a ring shape. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle Nigella seeds on top.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place parchment paper on an oven tray and arrange the dough rings on it. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375°F. Then, bake 15 more minutes or until the tops turn a golden brown.

Makes 8-9 bagels

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