Circassian Chicken (Çerkez Tavuğu) | Turkish Eats

This a very tasty and healthy chicken salad - no mayonnaise, instead, walnuts with all the healthy oils! It can be served warm as the main dish, but it is mostly served as an appetizer.

Our recipe uses the white meat of a whole chicken, including boiling the chicken to make your own broth. You can simplify the recipe by using commercial chicken broth and cooking just two chicken breasts.


  • 1 whole chicken (~ 4 lbs) - just the white meat will be used, also needed to make the broth
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 10 oz walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 oz bread crumbs
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


  1. Cook the whole chicken in unsalted water with the whole onion and black pepper for taste. Use a large, heavy pot suitable for slow cooking. Start with cold water. When the water begins to boil reduce the heat and let it simmer. During the first 30 minutes, skim the scum off the top of the broth regularly - this is essential for a clean, tasty broth. Depending on its size, 1.5 hours should be sufficient to fully cook the chicken.
  2. If you have a pressure cooker, feel free to use it. In our cooker, a whole chicken is cooked in 35 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is boiling, soak the bread slices in cold water. Let the bread soak the water for a few minutes and then squeeze the water out. Pass the wet bread slices through a grater. You must use good, artisan bread for this recipe.
  4. Mix the bread crumbs, chopped walnut and the other ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add 2.5 cups of chicken broth to the mix. Use a wire mesh strainer. 
  6. Use your fingers to divide the chicken into small pieces - be sure to use just the white meat of the chicken for this recipe. You can save the rest for other dishes.
  7. Gently mix the chicken pieces with the sauce. Spread the mix on a shallow serving plate, garnish with olive oil and paprika.
  8. It is also customary to spread the chicken pieces on the serving plate and then pour the sauce over the pieces without any mixing. If you prefer to do this, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt on the chicken and reduce the salt put in the sauce to 1/2 teaspoon.
  9. Serve at room temperature.
© Mehmet Ozturk 2017