This dish is inspired by the Georgian Satsivi, a chicken stew in walnut sauce. In the original recipe the chicken is pre-cooked in water then finished with a sauce made of ground walnuts and chicken broth, together with spices such as coriander and turmeric.
I added coconut milk to the sauce for another layer of taste, and made chicken patties to replace the chicken cuts. But you can use this sauce on pre-cooked chicken or even serve it over rotisserie chicken.
For the chicken patties:
1 red onion
1.3 lb. ground chicken or turkey
¼ cup chopped cilantro + more for finishing
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce:
1½ cups walnuts
1 can coconut milk (13.6 oz)
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1. Cut the onion in half. Finely chop one half and roughly slice the other. Keep the sliced onion half on the side.
2. To make the chicken patties put the chopped onion in a large bowl. Add ground chicken, chopped cilantro, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper and mix well using your hands. Cover the bowl and keep in the fridge.
3. In the meantime prepare the sauce: In the blender or food processor put all the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Heat the sauce, either in a small pot on the cooktop or in the microwave. Keep aside.
4. In a frying pan with a lid heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Prepare a bowl with cold water next to the cooktop. Take the chicken mixture out of the fridge, wet your hands and form 2.5” flat patties. Fry the patties on both sides in the pan until brown, about 2 minutes per side (the patties will not be cooked through). Remove from the pan and put on platter. You might need to fry the patties in two batches.
5. When you’re done frying the patties, wipe the pan, return it to medium-high heat, add the tablespoon olive oil and quickly fry the sliced onion for about one minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Arrange the patties on top of the onion and pour the sauce on top. Return the pan to a medium heat until the sauce boils, lower the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes in a very gentle simmer.
6. Let the dish set for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve over rice or couscous.
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