Chicken and Okra Casserole

Güveçte piliçli bamya

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Okra is nearly always combined with tomatoes in a vegetable ragoût, or in a casserole with lamb or chicken. This chicken and okra casserole is popular all over Turkey, and is usually served with a plain pilav or plenty of bread to mop up the sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 small chicken, cut into quarters
  • 1 lb/450 g fresh okra
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and a little butter
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon roasted kırmızı biber
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 3 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • ¼ pint/150 ml water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • First, prepare the okra: wash them, cut off the stalks and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of white wine or apple vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt over them. Mix thoroughly and leave to sit for at least one hour. (This enables them to retain their colour and removes most of the sliminess associated with cooked okra.)
  • In a large pan or casserole dish, brown the chicken pieces in the olive oil and butter. Remove them and put aside. Add the onions, coriander seeds and kırmızı biber to the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the crushed garlic, sugar and oregano followed by the tomato purée, tomatoes and water. Mix well and bubble the sauce up for a few minutes before adding the chicken pieces. Cover the pan and cook gently for 25-30 minutes.
  • Rinse the okra thoroughly and arrange them on top of the chicken. Pour the lemon juice over them, cover the pan again and cook gently for a further 20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. The okra should be slightly crunchy, not mushy.
  • Place the chicken pieces on a serving dish, stir the okra into the tomato sauce, season it and spoon it over the chicken. Serve hot with yogurt and nohutlu pilav, or a plain bulgur or kuskus (couscous) pilavı.
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