As usual, I inhaled the first bowl of my winter favorite, herisah (continue on for very simple recipe).
I only thought to take a photo after I’d literally licked the bowl clean. So I took another photo (below) when I had it for dinner again the next night.
My small crockpot’s worth made 4-5 servings. It freezes well, too. I used just one turkey thigh and a cup of wheat, but could have fitted in twice that. The wheat swells as it cooks, even after soaking, so be sure to use a large enough cooking vessel. (The recipe below makes a far, far larger quantity, so adjust to fit your needs.)
Herisah is also known as keshkeg, and there are multiple spellings of “herisah”: herrisah, harisah, and the like. My family always made it with chicken; others, I learned a few years ago, with lamb.
I posted 2-3 years ago about the great idea of using turkey thighs, which I found at The Armenian Kitchen. Since you can’t usually find a stewing hen (very flavorful!) in the market anymore the turkey somewhat makes up for the milder chicken. I notice some people make it with leftover cooked meat, but our family always started with raw, so I haven’t tried that. I’ve also heard of making it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but I can’t imagine enjoying such a lean version, myself (although my Dr. would tell me to try!).
The skinless wheat is called dzedzadz by Armenians, but when I go to the Phoenician Market in New Brunswick to buy it, I believe the label says “hulled.” I’m almost out now, so hope to get up there over the holidays. I also found it on Amazon (of course!), where it is called ziyad, but then you pay more in shipping than for the product itself (although I’d do it if I had to!).
The melted browned butter on top is a must-have, and one of the few instances in which I prefer salted butter. This is peasant food, gruel, or porridge, if you will, but I love it, and consider it my all-time favorite comfort food. Thus the clean plate.
3-4 cups whole grain skinless wheat (“shelled” or “hulled”) 1 – 5 lb. chicken (or equivalent in turkey thighs, or even lamb) salt
Melted, carefully browned, salted butter (or add salt to unsalted)
Soak wheat overnight in hot water. Put in kettle or dutch oven or crock pot with water, turkey (or chicken or lamb), salt, and add water to cover. Bake in oven at 300° all day, or in crock pot on low. Don’t stir.
When done, beat and add oatmeal if needed to thicken.
Serve with ground pepper and browned butter.
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