“Hailing from the south-east region of Turkey, this dish is typically eaten at weddings and symbolises the building of a new home together. Like most celebration dishes shared by families and communities, this delicate parcel stuffed with spiced chicken, nuts, herbs, spices and perfumed rice takes time, care and age-old cooking techniques.” Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley Harriott's Street Food
- 30 g butter, plus extra, softened for greasing
- 1½ tbsp pine nuts
- 25 g (¼ cup) flaked almonds
- 185 g long grain rice, washed and drained
- 340 ml chicken stock
- good pinch of salt
- 225 g cooked chicken, shredded
- 1½ tbsp currants
- good pinch dried oregano
- good grind of black pepper
- 1½ tbsp plain yoghurt
- 1½ tbsp melted butter
- 1 small egg
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the dough, place the yoghurt, butter and egg in a jug and whisk until smooth. Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine well. Make a well in the centre, then slowly add enough yoghurt mixture to flour to make a smooth soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until you have a soft pliable dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside while you make the filling.
Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan, then add the pine nuts and half the almonds and stir over medium heat until lightly golden. Stir in the rice and stir for another 1-2 minutes or until the rice is well coated and lightly toasted. Pour in the chicken stock and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes until the rice is about two-thirds cooked through. Stir in the chicken, currants and oregano and season generously with pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Generously butter the base and sides of 6 x 175 ml capacity moulds. Stud the remaining almonds around the base of the moulds in a single layer, using the butter to help them stick. Divide the dough into six pieces and roll out each one on a lightly floured surface so that it is large enough to line the moulds leaving plenty of pastry hanging over the edges so that you will be easily able to enclose the filling. Line the moulds with the rolled out pastry, then fill each one with the cooled rice filling. Fold over the over-hanging pastry to enclose the filling, then smear the tops with softened butter. Cover each mould with a lid or foil and place on a heavy-based baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and tender and the dough is nicely golden. Remove from the oven and stand for 5-10 minutes before inverting onto plates to serve.
Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food starts Thursday 6 August 2015 at 8.30pm on SBS and finishes 1 October 2015. Visit the Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food program page to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes and read our interview with Ainsley.