My mother is a fan of Dikris, an excellent Armenian caterer who has a booth in the market near my parents’. She’s going there to replenish her stock of tarama, tzatziki, and olives every weekend. My favorite has always been the mezze called “tavuk salata”, a subtle blend of Greek yogurt, chicken and gherkin pickles that you eat on pita. Sadly, one day, the caterer stopped making it. At first I thought that it was only temporary, but when it turned out that he would not make it ever again I was really sad… And I hadn’t identified every ingredients yet!
Then, for my birthday, my mother gave me the best present: she asked the recipe of “tavuk” to the caterer. After some hesitation, a call to his wife and an account of his youth in Istanbul, he agreed to give her the recipe, and I am so thankful. Dikris simply called it mezze “tavuk”. After some research, I found that the closest thing to his mezze (at least in photo because I do not understand the text, lol) seemed to be called “yogurtu tavuk salatasi” or “tavuk salata”. If some of you are connoisseurs and know the exact name of this dip, I’ll be delighted to learn more!
Prep time: 15mn
Rest time in the fridge: 1h
- 300g chicken breast
- ½ bunch fresh dill
- 500g Greek yoghurt (full fat, it's important)
- 110g small gherkin pickles
- 1 small red onion
- salt, pepper
- Sauté over the chicken breasts in a pan over low heat covered with a lid so that the chicken does not dry out. The chicken breasts should be cooked at heart but not too coloured. Once cooked, leave to cool down a bit before shredding or cutting them into small pieces.
- Meanwhile, cut the pickles 2mm thick slices. Peel and chop the red onion. Chop the fresh dill.
- In a bowl, beat the Greek yogurt with 2 pinches of salt and chopped dill. Then add the chicken, pickles and onions. Mix and cover with plastic film. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavours to develop.
- Mix again before serving. Some water may appear on the sides, it's normal, you just give a little mix and it will be fine. Season if necessary.
- Serve the tavuk as a starter or appetizer with Lebanese flat bread, pita or blinis. The tavuk keeps 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.