Circassian Chicken

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Soup


  • 2 1/2 lbs. bone-in chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups walnuts, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp dried savory or tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar, divided
  • Chopped red onion and pomegranate seeds for garnish


  1. Place chicken, meat-side down, in a large saucepan and add broth. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 25-30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, process walnuts and garlic in a food processor to a fine-textured paste. Add 1/4 cup cilantro; pulse just to combine. Mix salt, coriander, paprika, Aleppo, savory (or tarragon), cinnamon, fenugreek and saffron in a small bowl.

  3. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board to cool. Strain the broth (discard the solids).

  4. Wash and dry the pan. Add butter and oil and heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add onion and cook, stirring, until very soft but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the walnut mixture; whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce starts to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  5. Shred the chicken (discard the bones) and place in a large bowl. Add the sauce along with 2 tbsp. vinegar and the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cold, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

  6. Stir the remaining 1 tbsp. vinegar into the chicken. Let stand for 30 minutes. Serve topped with more chopped walnuts, cilantro, Aleppo, red onion and pomegranate seeds, if desired.

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