Some stews are easy, the flavors come together effortlessly with slow cooking. This super simple stew is one of those. Nothing gets easier than adding all ingredients to a pot and slowly braising the flavors together.
The magic in the stew is from the biber salcasi from Doyen Foods. This fiery sauce of red bell and chili peppers brightens up the stew and adds the pop of flavor making the stew delicious. I loved the deep colors and flavors of the tender chicken with mixed peppers in a light tomato broth and the persistent mild heat from the chilies. This summer stew is a delight, one that I will make again.
This is the bible for Turkish cooking by a master chef. The author has spent decades researching the cuisine of the different regions of Turkey and this book is a massive volume that highlights his efforts. Packed with recipes, this cookbook encompasses all Turkish cuisine, one every serious chef should have on their shelf, or kitchen counter.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
Photo credit: Nisha Bilgrami
2 lbs chicken, boneless thighs or breast, cut into long strips
1 lb baby potatoes
3 lg tomatoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
6-7 garlic cloves, sliced
4-5 tablespoon biber salcasi, (See recipe below)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon pepper
1 cup water
Salt, to taste
Note: Biber salcasi from different vendors can vary in their intensity of spice. Taste and add accordingly. This recipe used 1/2 of a bottle from Doyen foods.
Heat oven to 350 C.
Add all ingredients to a large stock pot that will fit into your oven and mix them well. Although the water may seem low, do not worry, the meat and vegetables give out water as they cook. Bake covered for 75 minutes, remove the pot and toss the ingredients every 20 minutes or so.
Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and spices as needed. Continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes without the lid. At this point, sauce should be a deep maroon-red and the oils should be on the surface. If the liquids are very runny, put the pot back in the oven, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Alternatively, add to a slow cooker and cook for 2 hours.
Serve with pita bread or any soft bread that will absorb the sauce.
For the biber salcasi:
You can buy the biber salcasi in India from Doyen foods, they make a good version of the sauce. However, if you want to make the sauce, here us the recipe.
3 lb red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
1 lb dried red chilies, stemmed and soaked and water overnight
8 cups water
Salt, to taste
Drain and cut the dried chili peppers into thin slices. Add to a large pot with the red bell peppers and water. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. Cool.
Purée in a blender to a coarse paste using some of the cooking liquids. The consistency should be close to that of ketchup. Store in the fridge for 1 week or frozen for longer.