Jennifer G., currently living in Charlotte, NC, is looking for a specific Armenian chicken and potato recipe. Please read the description below, and if this sounds like a recipe you know, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
“Growing up (in L.A.), I was surrounded by Armenians and many days was lucky enough to come home from high school to various Armenian Grandmas at various friends' homes cooking a traditional dish that was chicken in a pot w/potatoes and herbs. It was a big pot. The potatoes were wonderfully flavorful and soft. The chicken simply fell apart and is the best I've ever tasted.
How, how, do I make this dish? Time has passed, old friends have lost touch and, sadly, Charlotte NC is not the cultural melting pot of L.A. It was something everyone seemed to keep on the stove as a daily snack.”
I sent Jennifer a recipe for 'Armenian Stewed Chicken', from the cookbook, “The Armenian Table”, by Victoria Jenanyan Wise. (See recipe below.) It’s not exactly what she’s looking for, so any help from our readers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, all!
Here's Jen’s reply regarding the Stewed Chicken recipe I sent:
“As best I can recall, the dish consists of big chunks of potatoes placed in a pot, they get crispy on the bottom and soft on top during cooking. Then chicken and herbs are added and it cooks most of the day and was ready for us to eat when we got home from school. With lavash...and some awesome seeds for snacking. It was really simple and sooo good. All the grandmas made it.”
Armenian Stewed Chicken
Serves 6 to 8
1 (5 to 6 lb.) roasting chicken, cut up, or the same amount of chicken pieces
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
18 boiling onions, peeled
3 sprigs mint
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
4 Tbsp. butter
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 cups water
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
16 baby carrots, peeled or 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
16 fingerling or creamer-size Yukon gold potatoes
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 cups yogurt
1. Place chicken, celery root, onion, mint sprigs, parsley sprigs, butter, broth, water, salt and pepper in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, skimming from time to time. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook 45 minutes, until the vegetables are almost, but not quite, fork-tender.
2. Add the carrots, potatoes, and continue simmering uncovered for 20 minutes, until the chicken and all the vegetables are fork-tender and the liquid is golden and brothy.
3. With a wire strainer, transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter *reserving the broth. Sprinkle the chopped herbs over the platter and serve with yogurt on the side.
*Strain the reserved broth. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Next day, skim off the layer of fat. Use as a base for soup, for pilaf, etc.