Chicken and pea stew for spring

Quick and summery midweek dinner with Middle Eastern flavours.
Chicken pea stew in enamelled pot, seen up close from above
Chicken pea stew in enamelled pot, seen up close from above
Chicken pea stew in enamelled pot, seen up close from above
Vidar Bergum

When you want something quick and light, but that still packs a punch in terms of flavour, look no further than this chicken and pea stew. Perfect in spring – or when you’re just dreaming of spring!

In spring and summer, I prefer my food light and simple. With a bounty of vegetables at the peak of their season, much of it happens to be vegetarian.

If meat is involved, the same formula applies: light and simple. Clean flavours, with plenty of fresh, seasonal vegetables alongside.

Last week, I couldn’t help but buy a kilo of podded peas from the weekly market. Before moving to Turkey, I always used to walk past the little packets of green garden peas, opting instead for something a little sexier.

Fresh garden peas in the pod / A kitchen in Istanbul

Recently, however, I’ve taken a liking to the sweetness they add to many dishes. As with most things food, if you don’t like something, the most likely reason is you just haven’t figured out how to do it properly yet.

Peas + chicken dish

The peas work really well with chicken. For this dish, I’ve added a handful of spices typical of the Middle East – cinnamon, coriander, cumin – to really bring some flavour to the chicken.

Chicken pea stew in enamelled pot, seen up close from above

The sweetness and slight crunch of the peas provide a wonderful  contrast that makes the dish both lighter and more wholesome at the same time.

Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but try it and I’m sure you’ll get what I mean.

I happened to have a small amount of leftover chickpeas lying around, so I chucked those into the pot as well. You don’t have to – they neither hurt nor elevate the dish.

Serving suggestion

Serve this with a good portion of rice – the Turkish way of frying a little broken pasta in butter before adding the rice works particularly well here.

Chicken pea stew in enamelled pot, seen from eye level

A simple salad wouldn’t go amiss either, but is certainly optional.

The recipe serves two, but can easily be multiplied to serve more.

Chicken pea stew in enamelled pot, seen from above

Chicken and pea stew for spring

Yield: 2-3 servings

Quick and summery midweek dinner with Middle Eastern flavours.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (I use mild extra virgin)
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • ½ red chili, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 300 g (⅔ lbs) chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 150 g (1 ⅛ cup) garden peas, fresh or frozen
  • (a handful of cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if from tinned – optional)
  • 1 tsp pul biber (Aleppo pepper)
  • ½ lemon, grated zest and juice
  • water
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Fry the onions in olive oil in a thick based pot or pan over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until softened but not brown, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the chili (if using), garlic and spices and fry for another couple of minutes, continuing to stir regularly.
  3. Turn up the heat and add the chicken. Fry until the chicken starts caramelising, stirring regularly.
  4. Add water to nearly cover the chicken, 100-200 ml, depending on the size of your pot or pan, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, chickpeas (if using) and chili flakes. Gently mix and simmer until the peas are done, 3-4 minutes. The peas should still have a slight bite to them.
  6. Add lemon zest and juice. Season. Serve warm.
Get more delicious recipes in my newsletter
Get more delicious recipes in my free newsletter

SaveSaveSaveSave

Share or save:

Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
WhatsApp
Email
Up next →

One Response

  1. I’m certainly going to try recipes, I love Turkish, when we are in Didim, because of lock down, we haven’t been able to go, I miss the food, but I try to buy from Asian, shops, and add lots of herbs and spices to food, I look for authentic foods, not Weston recipes .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please note new comments are moderated before publishing and may take a few hours or days to show up. Only comments in English are accepted.

Hey, there!

I’m Vidar. For the past few years, I’ve been exploring the foods of Turkey, the Middle East and beyond from my house in Balat, Istanbul. Let me show you around!

Popular

    Turkish ezme salad chopped on a white board, seen from above
    Fluffed up Turkish rice in a pot, seen from above
Vidar Bergum on the front porch of his home, drinking tea, with a street cat eating something on the street in front of him

No e-books. Just inspiring emails.

Get delicious recipes &
fascinating stories
from
the heart of Istanbul
in my fortnightly newsletter.

Skip to Recipe

Get unique recipes directly from Istanbul

Vidar Bergum choosing vegetables at a greengrocer in Istanbul

Get unique recipes from Istanbul!

Emails every couple of weeks, unsubscribe any time.

By signing up you agree to the terms and privacy policy (link). Photos by Bahar Kitapcı.

Vidar Bergum smiling with red brick background

Welcome!

I'm delighted to have you on board. I've just sent you an email with a little more info – please check your inbox to make sure it's arrived.

If you can't find it, check the spam, promotions or updates folders.

Close this window and return to the post
Lots of meze dishes on a table, seen from above

Unique recipes, directly from Istanbul

I've learned from the locals, now let me teach you.

No thanks, not for me
Vidar Bergum choosing vegetables at a greengrocer in Istanbul

Get unique recipes

Emails every couple of weeks, unsubscribe any time.

By signing up you agree to the terms and privacy policy (link). Photos by Bahar Kitapcı.

Vidar Bergum smiling with red brick background

Welcome!

I'm delighted to have you on board. I've just sent you an email with a little more info – please check your inbox to make sure it's arrived.

If you can't find it, check the spam, promotions or updates folders.

Close this window and return to the post

NEWSLETTER

Get delicious recipes & inspiring stories from Istanbul.

Vidar Bergum drinking tea on front porch

By signing up you agree to the terms & conditions and privacy policy.

Vidar Bergum on the front porch of his home, drinking tea, with a street cat eating something on the street in front of him

NEWSLETTER

Get delicious recipes & inspiring stories from Istanbul.

Vidar Bergum drinking tea on front porch

By signing up you agree to the terms & conditions and privacy policy.

Vidar Bergum on the front porch of his home, drinking tea, with a street cat eating something on the street in front of him
Vidar Bergum drinking tea on front porch

Get free recipes & stories from my kitchen in Istanbul.

No e-books or spam, just inspiring emails every fortnight or so.

Vidar Bergum on the front porch of his home, drinking tea, with a street cat eating something on the street in front of him
Vidar Bergum drinking tea on front porch

Get free recipes & stories from my kitchen in Istanbul.

No e-books or spam, just inspiring emails every fortnight or so.

By signing up you agree to the terms and privacy policy.

Vidar Bergum on the front porch of his home, drinking tea, with a street cat eating something on the street in front of him
Vidar Bergum drinking tea on front porch

Welcome!

I'm very happy to have you on board!

 

I'll send you an email with more details about what you can expect shortly.

 

/Vidar

Vidar Bergum on the front porch of his home, drinking tea, with a street cat eating something on the street in front of him
Close this window and go back to the recipe
Vidar Bergum drinking tea on front porch

Get free recipes & stories from my kitchen in Istanbul.

No e-books or spam, just inspiring emails every fortnight or so.

Vidar Bergum on the front porch of his home, drinking tea, with a street cat eating something on the street in front of him