We always try to do a cookery class when we are on holiday so this recipe was inspired by cooking with the chef at the Three Cheers restaurant in Ovacik, near Fethiye in south west Turkey.
Leave all ideas of lamb donner and chicken shish kebabs at the airport, in Turkish Kebabi just means ‘cooked meat’ and the range of ways and means to achieve this brings in a whole array of dishes, baked, stewed, fried, roasted on a spit and so on. Buğu Kebabi means steamed meat which is usually cooked in a casserole dish and sealed with dough so the meat cooks in its own juices. However using a pan lid instead of the dough works for me!
It’s fair to say that celeriac is one of the most ignored root vegetables. Yet compared to potatoes and carrots it is low in calories and is therefore a great low carb option. But it also contains essential minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium and iron, vitamins B, C and K and is a good source of fibre.
It’s delicious baked in a gratin, boiled and mashed with potatoes or grated raw into a mustard remoulade. When peeled and cooked this ugly but underrated vegetable gives soups and stews the creamy richness of potato but with a subtle celery-like taste. Steaming the vegetables and the chicken is a light, healthy way of cooking yet this is a warming, comforting one-pot dish.
You need: (serves two)
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
2 courgettes, cubed
2 skinned chicken breasts, cubed (turkey would work too)
2 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 red peppers, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tsp Turkish chilli flakes
½ cup of water
Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for 10 minutes, then cool and peel and quarter.
Sauté the chopped onion and the olive oil in a casserole dish on the hob until soft. Add the cubed chicken, celeriac, courgette and garlic and cook on a high heat for 2 minutes. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the red peppers, then the salt, black pepper, cinnamon and chilli flakes.
Add the water, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until cooked, with the lid on to steam the dish. Keep checking the vegetables.
I bought my celeriac from Lidl on the High Street but it’s often available at the Sunday Farmers Market.