Kharcho is a Georgian dish that can either have the consistence of a soup or a stew. This version – chicken with a thick sauce – is from the province of Megrelia, where the dish is often accompanied by polenta infused with smoked cheese.
- 2 lbs chicken, in pieces
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 large onions
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups walnuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp Khmeli Suneli, ground
- 1 tsp hot chilies, ground
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- Marigold petals, dried (opt.)
Remove any excess fat from the chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken.
Roughly chop onions.
Place the chicken fat in a large pan with oil and cook on medium until it melts.
Add the onions, cook stirring often until wilted and barely golden (7-8 minutes).
Set aside half the onions.
Add the chicken to the pan and continue cooking until the pieces are cooked through.
Pour enough water to cover the chicken. Simmer uncovered for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, grind half the nuts, garlic, tomato paste, Khmeli Suneli, chilies and set-aside onions. Reduce to a rustic paste. Add remaining nuts and continue to grind to a crumbly paste. Add half the cooking sauce from the chicken and mix well.
Incorporate the paste into the pan to create a sauce that coats well. If necessary, add more water or thicken with finely ground walnuts.
Let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Keep warm. Adjust the salt and pepper, if needed.
Incorporate cilantro and garnish with Marigold petals, if desired.