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Tavuk Guvec; Turkish Chicken and Vegetable Stew in Earthenware Pot

Turkish chicken and vegetable stew in earthenware pot; Tavuk Guvec

Turkish chicken and vegetable stew in earthenware pot; Tavuk Guvec

My parents are visiting from Istanbul and they brought me a wonderful guvec pot, the traditional earthenware pot, that is used for cooking chicken, meat or vegetable based dishes. This is slow cooking at its best; the flavors of the seasonal produce and choice of meat mingle and simmer over 2 hours and the earthenware guvec pot brings out its distinctive flavor. At the end of the cooking you get a delicious, melt-in- the mouth, tender stew of vegetables and meat, so worth the wait.

My treasured guvec pot, earthenware pot, came all the way from Istanbul

My treasured guvec pot, earthenware pot, came all the way from Istanbul

A little history for guvec, excerpted from “The Oxford Companion to Food” by Alan Davidson, kindly shared by My Traveling Joys“Gyuvech is the Bulgarian name for a kind of earthenware casserole or the dish cooked in it. The name comes from the Turkish word güveç, which has the same meaning. The casserole is fairly shallow with a large surface area allowing for maximum evaporation. It comes round or oval. These vessels are found all over the Balkans are used for cooking almost anything of a savory nature, including fish as well as meat, poultry, and game dishes.” In Rural Anatolia, the guvec pots can be sealed and buried in the ashes of the fire to cook slowly overnight. It is also common for the locals in Anatolia to take their guvec pot to be baked at the bakery.

 Layer the vegetables that need longer cooking period towards the bottom of the guvec pot.

Layer the vegetables that need longer cooking period towards the bottom of the guvec pot.

This guvec is a wonderful way to use up any seasonal vegetable you have and the meat of your choice if you like. I used runner beans, eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, onions and peppers, they worked really well. When the tomatoes are in season, you can replace the chopped canned tomatoes with the fresh ones; the flavors will be even more amazing. When cooking in the clay pot, bear in mind to layer the vegetables that need longer cooking period towards the bottom of the pot. Once cooked, turn the heat off and let the Guvec rest in the earthenware pot for 30 minutes. The flavors blend and settle deliciously and the earthenware pot will keep warm for a long time.

Potato and bulgur rolls; delicious dipped into the juices of Tavuk Guvec

Potato and bulgur patties; delicious dipped into the juices of Tavuk Guvec

You may also use the cooked potatoes in this guvec pot to make this delicious Patatesli, bulgur kofte;  potato and bulgur patties. We love dipping these rolls into the delicious juices of the guvec.

Delicious Tavuk Guvec, Turkish chicken and vegetable stew in earthenware pot

Delicious Tavuk Guvec, Turkish chicken and vegetable stew in earthenware pot

I hope you enjoy this delicious, tender and healthy guvec  It is a bountiful dish and a great crowd pleaser, the leftovers also freeze well. If you don’t have a clay / earthenware pot, a cast iron casserole dish, a heavy ramekin dish or a heavy based pot like Le Creuset would work too. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat. Mushrooms would work really well here instead of meat.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 2 reviews
Tavuk Guvec; Turkish Chicken and Vegetable Stew in Earthenware Pot
 
I hope you enjoy this delicious, tender and healthy Tavuk Guvec, slowly cooked in a traditional earthenware guvec pot. It is a bountiful dish and a great crowd pleaser, the leftovers also freeze well. If you don’t have a clay / earthenware pot, a cast iron casserole dish, a heavy ramekin dish or a heavy based pot like Le Creuset would work too. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat. Mushrooms would work really well here instead of meat for a vegetarian version.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish Chicken Casserole in Earthenware Pot
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 450gr / 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 3 -4 chunks
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, skinned, quartered
  • 1 green and 1 red bell (or pointy) pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 250 gr fresh runner (or French, dwarf) beans, trimmed and cut in three parts
  • 2 small or 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 eggplant (aubergine), quartered and cut in small chunks
  • 1 can of 400 gr/14 oz. chopped tomatoes
  • 15ml /1 tbsp. red pepper paste (optional)
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 lb. / 4 cups of water
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste
  • Red pepper flakes to serve
  • Dollops of plain yoghurt to serve
Instructions
  1. Spread the eggplant slices over a tray and sprinkle salt over them. After 15 minutes, dry the eggplants with paper towel to get rid of its bitter juices.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the pot and stir in chicken pieces and onion. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and red pepper paste and sauté for another 3 minutes.
  4. Now, start layering the vegetables, bearing in mind to layer the vegetables that need longer cooking period towards the bottom of the pan.
  5. Layer the potato slices over the chicken, then the runner beans.
  6. Next layer the bell peppers, courgettes and aubergine.
  7. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and water.
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, as well as red pepper flakes if you like more heat.
  9. Do not stir the guvec pot; cover and start cooking at medium heat, until it starts to bubble.
  10. Once bubbling, turn the heat to low and simmer and gently cook for 2 hours, covered.
  11. Once cooked, turn the heat off and let the Guvec rest in the earthenware pot for 30 minutes. The flavors blend and settle deliciously. Check the seasoning and add more salt and ground black pepper if needed.
  12. You can serve Tavuk guvec with these flavorful potato & bulgur patties and a dollop of plain yoghurt aside.
 

 

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10 Responses to Tavuk Guvec; Turkish Chicken and Vegetable Stew in Earthenware Pot

  1. Peri's Spice Ladle June 3, 2014 at 3:30 am #

    Earthenware pots give amazing flavor to food:) love those, Ozlem, and this stew looks and surely tastes perfect! XxPeri.

    • Ozlem Warren June 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      Many thanks Peri, I sure do treasure the earthenware pot, delivers amazing flavors – many thanks for your kind note : ) Ozlem xx

  2. Alan June 3, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    J does the same thing in winter – guveç tucked into the side of the open fire for a few hours. The end result is always worth the wait – delicious!

    • Ozlem Warren June 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      Oh, I can just imagine what a delicious guvec it must have been cooked in an open fire, eline saglik J!:) Many thanks for stopping by, very kind : ) Cok selamlar, Ozlem

  3. senior dogs abroad June 3, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    Özlem’ciğim, We love güveç and this recipe sounds particularly delicious with all of its summer vegetables. I’ve been really cranking out some of your recipes while out here on the island. Last night, it was your dried eggplant stuffed with delicious spicy meat and rice. Yum! BTW, our internet has really been on the fritz lately. Don’t know what it was, but I haven’t been able to reach your blog at times. Happily, I have your recipes saved in a file on our desktop. Cheers. Öpüyorum çok.

    • Ozlem Warren June 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      Merhaba Jolee, how very kind of you, lovely to get your note as always. The internet has its ups and downs at times, I am honored that the recipes are at your desktop, cok mutlu oldum 🙂 So glad you enjoyed kuru patlican dolma and hope you enjoy this guvec, it has been a hit with us all. Cok selam ve sevgiler, Ozlem

  4. Phil in the Kitchen June 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    I love this kind of slow cooking – it’s so satisfying. Many years ago I was told off for washing up a similar sort of pot too thoroughly. The cook told me that I was washing away the flavour of the next dish. I’m sure she was right. I have made your patties before and they are certainly delicious.

    • Ozlem Warren June 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      Many thanks Phil, I agree with you, it really is a satisfying dish – loved your “washing away the flavors of the next dish!”:) delighted that you enjoyed the patties, thank you for letting me know.

  5. Turkey's For Life June 9, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    We love güveç, even in summer. There’s never a wrong time of year to eat your way through one. 🙂
    Julia

    • Ozlem Warren June 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      Merhaba Julia, I feel the same; guvec is delicious with every seasonal vegetable thrown into it, afiyet olsun : )

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