Turkish cuisine owes much of its heritage to the Ottoman Empire cuisine.
This specific dish, Mahmudiye which dates back to 16th century is named after Sultan Mahmut the Second. In Ottoman cuisine, spices, dried fruit, fresh herbs and nuts played an important role and were vastly included in chicken and meat dishes.
The Mahmudiye recipe I am going to share with you today, is one of those classic dishes of The Ottoman Cuisine and it is a chicken dish cooked in a sauce with honey, lemon juice, apricot, sultanas and almonds, and served on. Here is the recipe :
- 2 lbs chicken breast, leg or thigh meat
- 1 medium size onion
- 5-6 peppercorns
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbs honey
- 10-15 dried apricots
- 3/4 cups almonds
- 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
- 1/3 cups sultanas
- 2 tsp powdered cinnamon
- 5 tbs butter
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups orzo (barley noodles)
- 4 cups chicken stock ( for the orzo)
- 1 finely grated carrot
- salt, pepper
Soak the almonds, apricots and sultanas in boiling water for ten minutes till softened, then drain. Slice each apricot into 2 or 3 pieces. Shell the almonds and toast them in a pan with little oil just until golden. Place chicken, blackpepper, salt and onion in a pot, cook until tender. Save the stock.
Melt 2 tbs of butter in a skillet, add the large bite-sized chicken and saute them to brown. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock, stir and add the apricots, sultanas, cinnamon, lemon juice and honey. Stir for a few minutes until they release their flavor. Cover and cook until little stock is left. Add the toasted almonds. Remove from heat. Put aside.
Put the rest 3 tbs of the butter in a pan, heat and add the orzo. Keep stirring in butter until golden, then add the grated carrots, stir and add 4 cups of stock, cover and cook until all the stock is absorbed. Check the seasoning and add the chicken to the orzo, stir lightly and serve immediately.