Chicken Satsivi is a Georgian national dish of tender chicken coated in a decadent and creamy Walnut Garlic Sauce. It's a crowd-pleasing comfort food perfect for family dinners or holidays.
If you love Georgian recipes, make sure to give these recipes a try: Baby Bell Peppers And Zucchini Salad, Mtsvadi, Khachapuri.
If you think that most delicious European food comes from France or Italy, I'm going to pleasantly surprise you.
Have you ever heard of Georgian cuisine? Or more importantly, have you ever tried one? I bet you haven't.
Well, guess what?
Today, we're heading to Georgia to try one of the most popular and classic Georgian dishes - Satsivi, or Chicken In A Walnut Garlic Sauce.
I have to say, Georgian cuisine has always been one of my favorite. When I lived in Ukraine, Georgian restaurants were all over Kyiv.
I remember the time when my husband (then boyfriend) came to Kyiv to visit me. We went to one of the best Georgian restaurants and ordered quite a few of the classic dishes.
I think that was actually his first time trying Georgian food and he absolutely loved it. So rich, hearty and flavorful.
What distinguishes Georgian food from other famous European cuisines?
Georgians love to use sauces and to generously season their food.
Their unique combinations of spices are anything but ordinary. These spices are very pungent and add a nice kick of flavor to any dish.
Perhaps, one of my favorite spice mixes is Khmeli-Suneli. It's a combination of fenugreek, red pepper, basil, coriander, turmeric, marjoram and some other herbs. It has a slightly spicy taste and is very fragrant.
Georgians love using Khmeli-Suneli in a variety of their recipes. It's actually a very popular spice mix across the whole Caucasian region.
There are several places where you can buy Khmeli-Suneli. First, if you have a Georgian, Russian or Ukrainian grocery store in the area, this spice mix should be available there. Or, you can also buy Khmeli-Suneli on Amazon.
Perhaps, one of the most famous recipes in Georgian cuisine is Chicken Satsivi. It's a hearty chicken stew with onions, walnuts and aromatic spices.
Different regions have their own twist on this recipe. Despite that traditionally Satsivi was made with turkey, Chicken Satsivi has gained more popularity.
Thick Satsivi sauce that is the main player in the recipe can be served not only with poultry. It tastes amazing with fish, vegetables or lamb.
Satsivi Sauce Recipe
Now, let me tell you more a bit about the Georgian Walnut Sauce.
First of all, chicken and walnuts already make a great team, but there's a little more to the story.
Unlike many chicken recipes that are swimming in creamy sauces, this Walnut Chicken doesn't contain milk, cream or any other dairy.
Thanks to the delicious combination of walnuts, garlic, homemade chicken broth, coriander, saffron and Khmeli-Suneli, it's totally possible to create a non-dairy creamy-dreamy sauce that you can't help but eat the last bits of it.
This sauce is called Satsivi and it's like a white chicken gravy. Satsivi sauce will improve the taste of even the simplest dishes.
Can I make Satsivi Sauce ahead of time?
Satsivi sauce can be made ahead of time and stored for 3 days in the airtight container in a fridge.
And whenever you're ready to serve it, just sink your meat into the sauce and enjoy an earthy flavor and incredible taste of this traditional Georgian food.
You can serve the sauce warm or cold.
If you like this delicious Georgian Chicken With Walnut Sauce, you'll also love these recipes:
For the Chicken Broth
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 large onion halved
- 1 large carrot
- 1 stalk celery halved
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- a few sprigs of parsley, dill or both
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions finely minced
- 4 ½ c walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon Khmeli-Suneli
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon saffron
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 peppercorns
- 3 cloves
- 3 tablespoon parsley or cilantro chopped
To make Chicken Broth
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. The pot should fit the whole chicken. Add chicken and boil for a minute.
- Carefully remove chicken to a plate and discard the water. (This step is optional and you can make chicken in the first water, however my method will give you a clearer and more delicious broth.)
- Clean the pot, rinse chicken and fill the pot with water again. Add chicken and the broth ingredients into the pot. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook on a medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 50 minutes. (Don't let the broth to bubble, otherwise it will be cloudy). When chicken is cooked through, transfer it to a cutting board, slightly cool and cut into chunky pieces.
To make Satsivi
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using Kitchen Aid grinder attachment, grind walnuts and garlic. You need to do this 2-3 times. Press the mixture against mesh sieve to release the oil. Reserve walnut oil for salad dressings or for other recipes. (Alternatively, you can use food processor to blend walnuts and garlic into a smooth sauce)
- Add sautéed onion to a walnut garlic mixture and grind again.
- Transfer the sauce into a large pan. Slowly stir in hot chicken broth, one ladle at a time until your sauce is nice and smooth but thick. You might need to add 4-5 ladles of a broth.
- Stir in Balsamic vinegar, coriander, Khmeli-Suneli, cayenne pepper, saffron, cinnamon and salt.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add cooked chicken to the sauce along with about ½ of all chicken broth that you have and simmer stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes. (Regulate the amount of broth that you add into the sauce. The sauce should be just slightly runny.)
- Stir in peppercorns, cloves and adjust the seasoning.
- If Satsivi sauce came out too thick, add a little bit of broth.
- Sprinkle Satsivi with parsley or cilantro and serve with a salad like this and bread for dunking.
If you make this recipe, don't forget to snap a picture and post it on Instagram with a hashtag #lavenderandmacarons. I'd love to see your creations.
I love this post and would like to add a note... This delicious sauce can also be made with just garlic. If you don't have an access to Khmeli-suneli, don't be discouraged! It still tastes absolutely divine with garlic. It will be the closest flavour you can get of Satsivi without the Khmeli-suneli.
Kristine, you're absolutely right! Garlic adds such an amazing flavor that the sauce can totally exist even if Khmeli-Suneli is not available.
My ex wife is Macedonian, we used to eat Maco/Balkan food quite often and I loved it! Please do keep sharing recipes like this.
I love Balkan food too. I've been to several Balkan countries and really enjoyed their cuisine. I'll take your request into consideration when planning my next recipes.
Looks so delicious! I love satsivi.
Wow, this is so unique. I can't wait to try it. I am always looking for a new low carb recipe
Thank you Gina. This is a really delicious recipe. You will like it!
I never made this recipe myself but I love Satsivi.. My grandma makes it - I should ask her to make it again. And you are right - Georgian cuisine is delicious (khatchapouri anyone?)
Thank you Julia! Yes, Georgian cuisine is delicious, I wish we had more Georgian restaurants here in America.
Satsivi sounds delicious! It's so fun to learn about new cuisines. Thanks for sharing!
Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen says
This looks fantastic - that sauce is totally calling my name!
Thank you Ashley!