Chicken Claypot Stew & Efes

Turkey is a beautiful country with so many culinary delights. One of the dishes I discovered while I was there was chicken clay pot stew, also known as the tavuk güveç, in Cappadocia. It’s a stew that is slowly cooked inside of the pot (the güveç) to give it that lovely flavour. It was actually a big spectacle when the waiter brought it to me because the earthenware was fully enclosed and I had to use a special sword to break it open.

I’m not going to lie, I was intimidated by the sword so it actually took two swings to break it open. However, when I cracked the pot open it revealed this lovely tomato based chicken stew bubbling with veggies. It came with a side plate of rice and potatoes.

It also came with a puffy bread known as balon ekmek. It’s hard to beat fresh bread straight out of the oven! Balon ekmek is essentially flatbread with black sesame seeds on top. It looks huge, but it’s actually hollow on the inside. Once you poke a hole into it, the bread deflates.

There is a Turkish proverb that states “He who has no bread has no authority”, which would probably explain why Turkey has so many different types of bread floating around the city. Balon ekmek is just one type out of dozens a traveller can find there.

Being such a hot country, I ordered a Turkish beer known as Efes to go with my meal. It was refreshing and delicious! Another well known beer that I had in Turkey was Tuborg (not pictured), which is a Danish beer but I preferred the former.

I thought it was a bit wasteful for every single person to chop through the clay pots, but I realized after that the restaurant used it as decorative pieces. It was a pretty nifty experience and the food was awesome! If you’re ever in Turkey, look out for a güveç dish…and Efes ;).

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