Chicken, bean and pepper stew

M has gone to his home town for a few days, leaving me to my own devices in the city. While he’s away I’ve decided to try out a few recipes so that I can screw them up with no-one but myself to disappoint.

In my quest to learn how to cook Turkish food, I came upon this recipe for etli kuru fasulye (meat and bean stew) – a dish I’ve eaten several variations of, some with just slivers of meat, others with lashings of it, but all equally delicious.

The recipe above calls for beans soaked overnight and mutton, but when I came to make it, it was late and all I had in the house was chicken, tinned white beans and a few withered looking sweet peppers. An improvised hotch-potch, I wouldn’t necessarily call this dish Turkish – more Turkish-ish. It’s a proper store cupboard dinner though, quick and easy to make. The beans become meltingly tender, so it’s a real comfort food for these increasingly chilly nights. I ate this with fresh bread, but serve with rice and a green salad for a full meal.

Got a good recipe for kuru fasulye? Please share it with me so that I can get more Turkish, less –ish!


Makes 2 generous portions

What you need

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Olive oil

2 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into rough chunks

2 sweet peppers, deseeded and cut into small pieces

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

1 can white beans, rinsed (any kind will do)

How to make it

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Take a wide, heavy bottomed frying pan and fry the garlic and onions in olive oil until they start to turn golden and aromatic. Then remove from the heat and tip onto a plate.
  3. Pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and turn up the heat slightly. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and fry until browned on all sides.
  4. Reduce the heat, return the onions to the pan and add the peppers. Fry for a couple of minutes until the peppers begin to soften.
  5.  Add the chopped tomatoes and salt, then turn up the heat and bring the whole lot of the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and leave to simmer.
  6. After 15 minutes, add the beans, recover and simmer for another 15 minutes.