When talking about Turkish classic desserts, most of them consist of milk, cream, and nuts, but did you ever imagine a dessert would be made out of chicken? At first when my friend told me about it, I thought he is probably joking. The day he took me to make me try what he always talked about, oh my! This desserts is something unique. As soon as it hits your plate, its smooth creamy filling took me to another world. While eating it, I realised it had this shredded texture which is very different, and in my opinion gives this dessert its own class. When we hear the word “chicken” it does not make sense to us, but to a person who does not know it has chicken, they will never be able to tell what is inside. It feels like the boiled Sheire (small pasta) that have been added inside. However, to give you all your own experience, I would like to give you guys a recipe which I always make when I have locals coming over for a sweet end to a heavy meal.
What you will need:
1 Medium sized chicken breast
1 ¼ cups of heavy cream
3 ½ cups of full milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup of sugar
4-5 Tablespoons of rice flour
Cinnamon powder (Optional)
Roasted almond flakes (Optional)
3-4 Tablespoons Butter
Method: Let’s start by cooking the chicken. Take a medium sized pot and fill it with enough water to cover the chicken completely. Keep the flame of the stove on high at first so that the water boils quickly. Once the water has boiled, place your chicken in the pot, then reduce the heat to medium. It will take the chicken approximately 20-25 minutes to cook. Once the chicken is cooked: pat dry and shred into fine shreds with your hands or with the help of a fork. Once shredded, let it cool down. (Optional Step) If you are worried the dessert might have the taste or smell of chicken, you can take the shredded chicken in a bowl, add cold water, and swirl the chicken around. Once the water gets cloudy, change the water, and repeat the process another 2 to 3 times. Once you are satisfied, take the chicken out on a paper towel to dry it completely.
Moving on to the filling! In a small bowl take the rice flour and add about 5-6 tablespoons of milk from the measured quantity. Set the runny paste aside. Now you will need a deep pot. In that pot, add your leftover milk, cream, salt, and sugar. Put the pot on medium heat, then wait for it to boil. After the first boil, reduce the heat. Take a few spoon-fuls of the milk mixture, and add it to the rice- flour mixture we made earlier. This process is known as tempering as it brings the starchy mixture up to the same temperature as the other so when the milk is added it does not create lumps. For this process a whisk will be needed because once you temper the rice mixture, you need to add it to the simmering milk, then start whisking the mixture vigorously. Do not let the milk stand as it will create lumps, and stick to the pan. As you start to whisk, you will soon see the mixture thicken. Continue whisking until very thick. Add the shredded chicken to the mixture. Then, give it the final few stirs and turn off the stove.
At this point, your dessert is ready; we just need to cool it down to be eaten. To give this recipe an added edge, what I do is take another large pan, add 3-4 tablespoons of butter to its base, and let it melt. Once the butter melts, add the mixture and let it cook for about 5-8 minutes until the base gets a good golden caramelisation. Keep giving the pan a little swirl every now and then so that the base caramelizes evenly.
Let the pudding cool down, cut squares (or rectangles, depending on how you like it). Take them out with the help of a spatula or fork so that you do not spoil its shape. Serve with lightly dusted cinnamon powder and toasted almond flakes. Afiyet olsun!