Thursday, February 4, 2016

Susamli Tavuk

     Turkish Sesame Seed Chicken!
     There is a lot of great food that is cooked around the world and there is no reason to be stuck eating the same old thing everyday.  The country of Turkey has a long history of outstanding food.  Many common food items that people see in the grocery store actually have roots in Turkish cuisine.  
     In plazas, shopping areas and nearly any place in Turkey where there is a high number of pedestrians, vendors market casual street food.  Many vendors operate a small shop that only has countertop window that faces the street and there is only room enough to sell a few select specialty food items.
     Customers purchase items at one street food shop window to the next, then they sit on a park bench or at a plaza table and enjoy their meal.  Most of the street food is finger food, pastries or sandwiches that is served with strong tea or coffee.  Munching on great street food in a busy place while socializing and people watching is a Turkish pastime.
    Today's Turkish Sesame Seed Chicken recipe is very simple to make.  Susamli Tavuk is a popular Turkish street food item and it is also a popular item to serve to guests at home.  
     One thing that you learn as a chef is that some recipes are so simple and uncomplicated, that they seem to not make sense.  Such is the case with Susamli Tavuk.  After glancing at the recipe, the first thought will be that it is impossible for the bread crumbs and sesame seeds to stick to the chicken if only milk is used, especially if the cooking method requires no pan frying.
     As the old saying goes, "the proof is in the pudding!"  One look at the photo examples above proves that this simple Turkish recipe actually works.  Not only does this recipe work, Susamli Tavuk is practically fat free, so it is some very healthy street food!
     Susamli Tavuk: 
     This recipe yields 1 appetizer portion that can be shared by 2 guests.
     Step 1:  Select a 6 to 8 ounce chicken breast filet and trim off any fat.
     Bias slice the chicken breast into long flat strips that are about 1/4" thick.
     Step 2:  Place the chicken breast strips in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1/3 cup of milk.
     Toss the chicken strips with the milk.
     Step 3:  Place 1/2 cup of sesame seeds into a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/4 cup of plain fine French bread crumbs.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Mix the dry ingredients together.
     Step 4:  Dredge 1 milk coated chicken strip in the sesame seed mixture at a time.  Be sure to completely coat each piece of chicken.
     Place each sesame chicken strip on a sheet pan that is lightly brushed with vegetable oil.
     Step 5:  Bake the sesame seed chicken in a 350ºF oven.
     Carefully turn the chicken pieces once or twice so they cook evenly.
     Bake the sesame seed chicken, till the chicken is fully cooked and the sesame seed coating is toasted to a light golden brown color.
     Step 6:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Place some Italian Parsley sprigs on a plate as bed for the Susamli Tavuk.
     Arrange the Susamli Tavuk on the parsley, so it looks nice.
     Serve with a small ramekin of honey.
     Susamli Tavuk can be served as an appetizer, light lunch or a snack.  This is some healthy Turkish cooking!

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