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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.
pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
medium yellow onion, root end intact, peeled and quartered lengthwise