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Shredded Chicken with Walnuts


1 chicken, trimmed of excess fat

3 slices of day-old white bread, crusts removed

2/3 cup milk

1½ cup shelled walnuts

4-6 garlic cloves

salt and ground black pepper


For the stock

1 onion, quartered

1 carrot, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

4-6 cloves

4-6 allspice berries

4-6 black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon, coriander seeds

1 small bunch of flat-leafed parsley, stalks bruised and tied together

For the garnish

2 Tablespoons, butter

1 teaspoon aleppo pepper, or Turkish paprika

a few coriander leaves


1. Put the chicken into a deep pan with all of the ingredients for the stock. Pour in enough water to just cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer the chicken for about an hour.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan and leave until cool enough to handle.

3. Meanwhile, boil the stock with the lid off for 15 minutes until reduced, then strain and season with salt and pepper.

4. When the chicken has cooled a little, pull off the skin and discard it. Tear the chicken flesh into thin strips using two forks or your fingers and put them into a large bowl.

5. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes until the milk is totally absorbed.

6. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the walnuts with the garlic to form a paste, or blend them in a food processor.

7. Beat the soaked bread into the walnut paste, then add to the chicken mixture.

8. Beat in spoonfuls of the warm stock to the bread and walnut mixture to bind the chicken and walnut mixture until it is light and creamy.

9. Spoon the mixture into a serving dish, forming a smooth, rounded mound.

10. To garnish the chicken in the Istanbul fashion, gently melt the butter over a low heat and stir in the aleppo pepper, or Turkish paprika, then pour the mixture in a cross shape over the top of the mound.

11. Serve the shredded chicken at room temperature, garnished with the fresh coriander leaves