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A spice-infused oil tops this Turkish-inspired dish of chicken dressed in a rich walnut sauce.

Circassian Chicken (Çerkez Tavuğu)

1 review
Appears in July-August 2022

45 minutes

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Circassian Chicken (Çerkez Tavuğu)

Circassian chicken, çerkez tavuğu in Turkish, is a popular meze dish and an elevated form of chicken salad. Cooked shredded chicken is dressed with a rich, creamy, bread-thickened garlic and walnut sauce, then served at room temperature. A rust-red oil made by infusing olive oil with Aleppo pepper or paprika is an elegant flourish that also brings earthy aroma and chili heat. This version of Circassian chicken is our adaptation of a recipe from Emine Nese Daglar, a home cook who resides in Istanbul, and grandmother of chef Cagla Gurses. To stale the bread for making the sauce, simply leave the slices out for a few hours; they should feel dryish on the surface but not brittle. Serve the salad with warm pita bread. We also like sliced radishes and pickles on the side.




Don’t add too much broth when pureeing the walnut sauce. If the sauce is too thin, it will not cling to the chicken. Start with the smaller amount of broth and add only as much as needed so the consistency resembles that of pourable yogurt. If you find that after dressing the chicken mixture is too thick and dry, mix in additional broth a little at a time to thin it. Also, don’t discard the remaining broth. Save it for use in another recipe that calls for chicken broth.

45 minutes


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