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Archive for December 2008

Chicken With Eggs (Toyug Chighirtmasi)

Chicken With Eggs (Toyug Chighirtmasi)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a chicken recipe, hasn’t it?  Considering that chicken is a widely used type of poultry in Azerbaijan and that there are countless recipes with it, I have no excuse not to post them on my blog from time to time. So, yesterday I decided to roll up my sleeves, get into kitchen and cook a classic Azerbaijani dish – Chicken With Eggs called Toyug Chighirtmasi in Azeri. The word Chighirtma is a general name given to dishes in which eggs are added at the very end and cooked until set, like in the recipe for Ispanag Chighirtmasi (Spinach with Eggs) I posted a while ago. Or, in Badimjan Chighirtmasi (Eggplant with Eggs), Kartof Chighirtmasi (Potatoes with Eggs),  Pomidor Chighirtmasi (Tomatoes with Eggs), you name it. There is this entirely separate category with egg dishes in Azerbaijani cuisine.

Toyug Chighirtmasi is a very popular dish in Azerbaijan. The recipe varies slightly from region to region and even from family to family. Some people like to add squeezed lemon juice to the chicken for that nice tanginess. Or, in some cases, the chicken is boiled before it is fried.

This is how I make my chicken with eggs.  What I like about this particular recipe is that the eggs do not overpower the overall flavor of the dish; I don’t add too many of them to it. The eggs blend in with other ingredients so well that you almost do not taste them in the cooked dish. Also, during the simmering process, the onions and tomatoes melt down to the consistency of almost a pasta sauce – so delicious. We enjoyed Toyug Chighitmasi at dinner yesterday, hope you do too when you cook it.

Chicken with Eggs (Toyug Chighirtmasi)

Serves 4 to 6

3 spoons vegetable oil
2 spoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 pounds / 900g boneless or bone-in chicken parts, cut into about 10 serving pieces (I use boneless chicken thighs)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon, or more, to taste, ground black pepper
4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped, with their juices
3 eggs, lightly beaten
chopped cilantro (coriander) or parsley, to garnish

Note 1: If your tomatoes are not ripe and juicy, dissolve 1 tablespoon tomato paste in 1/2 cup hot water and add it to the chicken along with chopped tomatoes.

Note 2: You can also bake this dish in the oven at the last stage. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish then pour the eggs over it. Bake in the 400F (200C) degree oven until the eggs are set. It makes for a beuatiful presentation if you serve this dish straight from your baking dish.

1. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until it is light brown. Transfer the onion to a bowl and put aside.

2. Add the remaining oil and the butter to the same frying pan and heat over medium heat (Note: butter alone tends to brown when you melt it. Adding some fluid oil to the pan along with butter will prevent that). Add the chicken pieces and fry for about 20 minutes, or until they are brown, turning them once to cook on both sides.

3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the cooked onions and chopped tomatoes with juices to the pan. Cover and turning only occasionally, simmer over medium heat for about 25 minutes,  or until the chicken is tender.

4. Pour the beaten eggs over the chicken, slightly tilting the pan to distribute the eggs evenly. Cover the pan and let cook for about 5-7 minutes (do not stir!) or until the eggs are set. Serve immediatley, garnished with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley. Chicken with Eggs is delicious with bread or rice. NUSH OLSUN! ENJOY!