[Sca-cooks] Kavurma (Fricassee of Chicken), was Khabisa with Pomegranate

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 31 18:31:56 PDT 2008

Here's some of what i have on Kavurma (Fricassee of Chicken)


Tavuk chevermesi
[Urtatims sez: Tavuk = chicken]
My Translation from Stephane Yerasimos's translation of Shirvani, in 
"A la table du Grand Turc"
(copyright to the estate of Stephane Yerasimos)

I've got the *original manuscript* on cd, but it's in Old Ottoman 
(Eski Osmanica) and i haven't yet found someone who can teach it to 
me. It's closely related to the language the Seljuks spoke in the 
11th to 13th centuries. Ottoman changed in the 16th C. to what is 
sometimes called Classical Ottoman. It underwent many more, sometimes 
quite drastic changes between then and now. It's as different from 
Modern Turkish as Anglo-Saxon is from modern English (or maybe more 
different), so modern Turkish readers, even those who can read it 
written with the Arabic alif-ba can't read it.

I'm still studying Arabic - we're still at the beginning of the 
language. I figure next year i can start tracking down a scholar who 
knows Eski Osmanlica - i may have a lead (crossing my fingers). 
Another project on my to-do list is get this manuscript translated 
into English - first i'll do the purely Ottoman recipes, then 
al-Baghdadi's - there are some changes in the Ottoman versions from 
the originals.


Yerasimos's comments (p. 74):

This is without a doubt the kavurma of chicken with onions and eggs 
that appears in the menu of Mehmed II on 11 and 20 of June 1469. The 
same dish was served at Topkapi in winter and at the circumcision 
celebrations of 1539. It is one of the recipes added [to the 
translation into Ottoman of al-Baghdadi's Kitab al-Tabikh] by 
Shirvani. [Urtatim sez further: Shirvani's translation and his added 
Ottoman recipes date from the late 15th C.]


The original recipe (p. 75):

Tavuk chevermesi. The art of preparing it is the following. Clean the 
chicken, cook it in water, as is suitable. Remove it after cooking 
from the water and salt it by pouring on it salted water. Next beat 
15 eggs for 3 chickens, add sifted flour and beat it with the eggs in 
a quantity sufficient so that the mixture has the consistency of 
porridge. Separate each chicken into four parts, coat it with the 
mixture of eggs and flour, and brown it in fresh sweet butter. When 
the chicken is golden, cook in the same butter some finely chopped 
onion. When it is cooked, add a little honey and a little vinegar, in 
order to attain an agreeable taste, add as well some spices. Return 
the pieces of chicken and arrange them in the frying pan on top of 
some soaked bread. Next remove the frying pan from the fire and put 
it on the embers. Arrange it on a plate, putting the soaked bread on 
top, take it forth and eat it.

Shirvani, folio 111 verso - 112 recto


Yerasimos's modern version (p. 74)

1 chicken
5 eggs
4 slices of sandwich bread
[Urtatim sez: Eeeyuw - try something with a bit more body]
1 soupspoon flour
10 cl oil
1 large onion
3.5 cl honey
3.5 cl vinegar
1 coffeespoon cinnamon
1 coffeespoon finely ground coriander seed

Cut the chicken in pieces. Boil it in salted water.

Mix egg yolks with flour in a bowl, coat pieces of chicken, and cook 
until golden in oil.

Next remove them from the frying pan and in it brown the finely 
chopped onions, then add the honey, previously warmed, and the 
vinegar, season with the cinnamon and the finely ground coriander 

Soak in this the slices of bread and let them simmer several minutes.

Then arrange them on a plate, place on top the pieces of chicken, and 
pour over it the rest of the contents of the frying pan.

[Above are the French measurements - a soupspoon is about a kitchen 
measuring tablespoon and a coffeespoon is about a kitchen measuring 
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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