#69: Azerbaijan – Lavangi

Confession time: this is my second attempt at a dish from Azerbaijan. The first time was a few weeks ago and it was a Lamb Plov. The recipe I used as my guide was clearly missing some critical instructions and the dish didn’t work AT ALL. Well, the meat did but part of the point of that dish was the crispy rice shell and that was an utter disaster. Lamb Plov is a pretty common and popular dish throughout the region so I figured I’d have another opportunity to try that again with better instruction and the hindsight of what happened the first time.

But then I discovered the recipe for Lavangi, a walnut and plum stuffed chicken breast, which I had flagged in my massive excel spreadsheet where I track what I’ve cooked thus far and also occasionally leave notes on dishes to make in the future (which I obviously completely missed a few weeks ago!) đŸ™‚

I had to do one tweak to this recipe as after looking at several grocery stores, I was unable to find plum jam, so I elected to do a cherry jam instead. I realize that this may make the dish look like it’s bleeding, which isn’t the most appetizing way to look at a chicken, but it helped keep the “stuffing” of walnuts, plums, raisins, and onion in place without changing too much of the intended flavor (or at least I would think not).

This was a relatively easy, but a little different than your typical stuffed chicken recipe. Perfect for someone who wanted to try something a bit creative for a weeknight meal. The flavors in this dish were reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner (I think it was the combination of dried fruits and walnuts). But you can stuff a lot of things in chicken, just make sure you get large enough of chicken breasts that it makes the stuffing process a lot easier.

I used the following recipe, though there are many variations out there: https://foreignfork.com/lavangi/

Level of Effort: 2

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Would Make it Again? Yes* (see below for note)

Additional Notes: This was great, don’t get me wrong. Though I think I may have slightly overcooked some of the smaller pieces of chicken the first night so when I went to have that piece for leftovers a day or two later? Bone dry and inedible. In other words…I’ll make this again with better attention to how large the chicken breasts are and adjust cooking time OR just plan for it to be enough food for the one night.

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