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This is Turkey!

It’s Around the World to Turkey. Bulgaria, Armenia, Greece, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran and Iraq. What do all these countries have in common with Turkey? They all border the country Turkey and can you imagine  ALL the food influences that Turkish food will feature? This is our last whirlwind “trip” in cooking and culture this year, so come and jump on board and let’s find out what is happening with Turkey!

If yesterday’s meal is an indication of what’s ahead, then proudly let me stand with the Turks. Simply called “Chicken with Vegetables and Plums” with a hint of cumin and a lot of slow cooking goodness. I call it “plum delicious.”  My new “borrowed” cookbook comes from a collection of Turkish recipes written by friends in North Carolina, called “Delicious Dishes.”

Take a look again at the photo and see the amazing fall colors. Potatoes, carrots, onion and chicken thighs with some dried plums simmered together with its own juices, create a simple and elegant meal.

I hope you will give this one a try. It is an easy dish to prepare. Let me know when you do, I would love to know what you think.

Chicken with Vegetables and Plums by Fatos Simsek

6-8 Pieces of chicken thighs

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 squash or 2 carrots, cubed

2 medium potatoes

1/2 cup dried pitted plums

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup water

1/2 tablespoon cumin

Salt and Pepper to taste

(Although this dish says it requires a special earthenware pot, I used a heavy and large pan that worked just as well).

In large pan, with medium high heat, place olive oil and onions, brown onions for about 5 minutes.

Add chicken and cook each side for about 5 minutes. Combine with all then vegetables. Stir for a few minutes. Add cumin, half a cup of water, salt and pepper to taste. Top with the plums. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to very low. Cover tightly sealing the top of the pot with aluminum foil first and then placing with the lid. Cook on very low heat for about 2-2.5 hours. Do not stir or check while cooking. Serve hot with traditional white rice or bulgur pilaf.

My notes: I cooked my dish for about 3 hours. I think it would be nice to have this with turkey as well.

I hope you will enjoy Turkey as much as our family will this month. Lots of European and Asian influences and after cooking a couple of meals, the key to Turkish cuisine is the balance of flavors. How appropriate that for the month of November this country won out against others such as Greece, France, Ireland, Thailand, and Lebanon- (read my first post-Around the world-first stop…India!, to see how the countries are chosen). But, I have a feeling that you might encounter some flavor characteristics of these other countries-truly a Euroasian experience. As you may or may not know, this month really is turkey month for America and in our corner of the world, we will also celebrate the culture and cooking of  the country Turkey. Come and join us this week as we venture into new territory, one last time this year.

Here is a sample of this weeks Turkish menu:

  • Cabbage Stew
  • Bean Salad
  • Inverted Rice with Stew Meat
  • Rice Pilaf with tomatoes
  • Stuffed Green Peppers
  • Turkish Wild Rice
  • Piquant Kebap
  • Leeks in Olive oil
  • Spinach Casserole

Daha Sonra bakin-see you later!


 

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