Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Turkish Walnut Chicken and Mustardy Coleslaw

I'm annoyed with myself for having low productivity at work and yet also staying late. The problem is that I'm working on a project (tallying up formatting fixes to hand off to my student) that is tedious and chore-like, requires attention to detail, and involves a number of steps that take several minutes for the computer to crunch through. So once I get step five out of eleventy running I go off to do something else while I'm waiting, except it can't be anything that requires thought or I'll lose track of what I'm doing, so I dink around on Facebook or play a little game or something and then when it's time to switch back I've lost all my momentum and have to re-motivate myself. Oh, and half the time when I get one step further in the whole process, I find a new thing to fix and then I need to start all over again to make sure I'm not missing anything.

So I came home this evening feeling all antsy and decided to try cooking something new to see if that would help. I think it did.

I got a full set of TIME-LIFE "Foods of the World" books from my Mom, and now and again I pull one out to skim through at bedtime. The Middle Eastern Cooking book has a Turkish recipe for chicken with walnut sauce which looked intriguing, so I thought I'd give that a try. (I also threw together a batch of mustardy coleslaw while I was waiting for the stock to cook down using a recipe I improvised a few weeks ago and liked enough to write down.) The chicken turned out well, and I think I will make it again. It's tasty, different, pretty simple to make, and not overly carb-tastic. I think it'd make a good potluck dish.

(Turkish chicken with walnut sauce)


2 chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
2 cups water
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 slices bread
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
a few grindings of black pepper
parsley for garnish


Slice the chicken breasts so that the water will cover them.
Add chicken, water, and a pinch or two of salt to a pan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, patially cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a plate, then boil stock until reduced by half.
Put walnuts, onion, and stock in a blender and blend on high 15 seconds.
Add salt, paprika, pepper, and bread and blend on high until smooth.
Cut or tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces ("1/8 x 1-1.5 inch strips").
Put the chicken and most of the sauce in a bowl and toss to coat.
To serve: mound the chicken on a platter and make a smooth coat with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with a little more paprika and garnish with chopped parsley.


1 bag coleslaw mix
optional: extra veggies (e.g., shredded radishes)

4 or 5 spoonfuls mayo
2 or 3 blups of Dijon mustard
a few big pinches lemon salt
most of a packet of artificial sweetener (or a spoonful of sugar, I suppose)
a pinch of MSG
a decent splash cider vinegar
several hefty shakes black pepper
several shakes garlic powder
a few shakes paprika
a smidge of marmite to cut the sweetness & aftertaste


Whisk all the dressing ingredients together & adjust to taste.
Mix it all up good.

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