Turkish Chicken and Okra Stew
This preparation is another Gûveçi an all purpose Turkish word for stew, one that always, contains a vegetable and tomatoes and is made with chicken, lamb, veal, or beef. Serve this dish with chickpea pilaf, yogurt, or plain bulgur pilaf. This stew is ideally cooked in an earthenware casserole with a cover.
Turkish red pepper may also be called Aleppo pepper may also be called Aleppo pepper in a Middle Eastern market. You can make a vague rendition of your own by mixing together three parts hot Hungarian paprika with one part ground red chile.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Equipmentmortar and pestle
Taste and Texturemeaty, savory, spiced
- 1 pound fresh small okra, bottoms trimmed
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 to 5 chicken breast halves on the bone (about 3¼ pounds total)
- 2 medium size onions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons finely ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper (see Notes)
- 5 large garlic cloves, pounded in a mortar with 1 teaspoon salt until mushy
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the okra in a bowl and sprinkle with the vinegar and salt. Toss and let sit for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large earthenware casserole set on a heat diffuser, melt the butter with the oil over high heat. Once the butter stops sizzling, brown the chicken pieces, about 12 or (If you are not cooking with earthenware and a diffuser, cook over medium-high heat and check for doneness in about 8 minutes.) Remove the chicken and set aside.
Add the onions, coriander, and red pepper and cook until the onions soften, stirring and tossing, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, sugar, and oregano, stir, and add the tomato paste and tomatoes, stirring again to incorporate the paste. Bring to a boil, return the chicken to the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the meat is firm, turning it a few times, about 30 minutes.
Put the okra in a strainer and rinse under running water. Arrange them on top of the chicken, pushing them down a little into the broth, then pour the lemon juice over everything, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the okra is tender, shaking the casserole from time to time, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately.
2002 Clifford A. Wright