On a mountaineering trip in Georgia (the country), we sought local advice on where to find the best pickles, fresh vegetables, strained yogurt, and local specialties like dried sour plums and walnuts – an integral element for many Georgian dishes. Of course, the answer was always going to be a small local market, not a massive co-op.
One such market gave us pause. From the outside, the ramshackle, faded facade speaks of a store long past its heyday. However, its dimly lit interior revealed a trove of wonders. Fruit leather with a mouth puckering sourness, tangy cheeses, wild herb medleys, delicate beetroots, and pungent onions.
Not to mention a massive bucket of shelled walnuts, perfect for this dish – Chicken Satsivi. We adapted it for camping, used fresh ingredients where feasible (taking weight and space into account), did some prep work in advance to minimize cooking time in camp, and cooked everything on a one burner stove set up.
Cooked meat from thighs and one breast of chicken (Slow cook in the oven and when cold pull the meat apart with forks or your hands)
1 cup walnuts, smashed to fine chunks/powder
1 cup coriander leaf
1 cup parsley leaf
4 cloves garlic
1 glass white wine
1 cup sour cream
2-3 cups water (depending on how thick you like your soup)
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp dried tarragon.
50 g butter (wrapped)
Camping stove and pot
Bamboo chopping board
Insulated coffee mug with airtight lid
Insulated bowl/mug – to serve
• Put the pulled chicken into an airtight container, and chill in the fridge overnight. Use this to transport to camp.
• Mix the wine and sour cream together and transport in a leakproof coffee mug.
• Fill your bottle with water
• Place the spices, stock cube and walnuts in a small reusable container.
• Place the herbs, onion and garlic, and butter in another reusable container.
• In camp, finely chop the herbs, garlic and onion.
•Heat the pot, add butter, and foam gently.
• Add the onion, garlic, herbs, and spice/walnut mix; cook for 2 minutes.
• Add the wine, sour cream, and water, bring to a simmer.
• Add the shredded chicken and cook for 15 minutes minimum.
• (If you have the time and fuel, cook for longer as the flavors will intensify)
• Taste and season if needed.
• Serve in the insulated bowls/mugs.
• Dig in!