Decoding the Secrets of Chicken Satsivi: A Gastronomic Journey into Georgian Walnut Sauce

Chicken Satsivi, with its roots deeply embedded in Georgian cuisine, carries the essence of a rich and unique gastronomic experience. Let’s dive into the magic of this dish, a creamy walnut sauce paired with succulent chicken, bringing a taste that lingers in memory.


A Nostalgic Prelude

Satsivi Recipe: Georgian Chicken in Walnut Sauce - No Frills Kitchen

My introduction to Chicken Satsivi dates back to a night in Moscow, where the tantalizing aroma of chopped walnuts filled the air. Prepared by a skilled Georgian cook, this dish offered a culinary revelation, unlike anything I had ever tasted. The alchemy that turns finely ground walnuts into a cream-free, yet irresistibly creamy sauce remains a delightful mystery.

Unveiling the Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds) or cut into pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cups walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp. blue fenugreek
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. crushed saffron threads
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Adjika (Georgian red pepper sauce) for serving
  • Tkemali sauce (sour plum sauce, optional)

Step 1: Cooking the Chicken

Place the chicken in a large pot, covering it with water by 3 inches. Generously season the water with salt and bring it to a boil. Simmer until the chicken is fully cooked. Strain the chicken, reserving the broth, and cut it into pieces.

Step 2: Broiling the Chicken

Set the broiler to high, placing the broiler rack 6 inches below the heat source. Arrange the chicken pieces on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and broil until browned.

Step 3: Preparing the Walnut Sauce

Melt butter in a skillet, adding onions and salt. Cook until translucent and softened. Remove from heat.

Step 4: Crafting the Walnut Mixture

Process walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add blue fenugreek, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, saffron, garlic, cayenne, and salt. Knead and rub the walnuts until they become oily and stick together.

A Symphony of Flavors

Chicken Satsivi weaves together the richness of walnuts, the warmth of spices, and the tender embrace of perfectly cooked chicken. The final result is a dish that speaks to both tradition and innovation, a true masterpiece in the realm of culinary delights.

Serving Suggestions

Pair your Chicken Satsivi with homemade or store-bought Adjika, the vibrant Georgian red pepper sauce. For an extra touch, consider adding Tkemali sauce, a sour plum sauce that complements the dish’s flavors.

In conclusion, Chicken Satsivi stands as a testament to the culinary prowess of Georgian cuisine. The next time you embark on a culinary adventure, let this dish be your guide into a world of flavors that dance on the palate, leaving an indelible mark on your gastronomic journey.

Gastronomic Delight: Answering Key Questions about Chicken Satsivi (Chicken in Walnut Sauce)

What is Chicken in Garlic Walnut Sauce?

Chicken in Garlic Walnut Sauce, also known as Chicken Satsivi in Georgian cuisine, stands as a cherished and popular dish in the region. This adaptation, inspired by a favorite cookbook, may not claim ultra-authenticity but certainly boasts unparalleled excellence. The dish, Chicken Satsivi, captivates with a rich blend of garlic and walnut flavors, creating a culinary masterpiece. Ideal for warm summer evenings, this dish offers a delightful escape into a world of gastronomic pleasure.

What is Chicken Satsivi?

Chicken Satsivi emerges as a culinary delight, especially suited for warm summer evenings. It expertly caters to comfort food cravings without inducing a sense of heaviness. The unique sauce base, crafted from a medley of herbs, spices, and walnuts, imparts a distinct flavor profile. While bearing a slight resemblance to Indian Korma, Chicken Satsivi introduces a wholly different and captivating taste experience, making it a standout choice for those seeking a lighter yet satisfying dining option.

What is Satsivi Sauce?

Satsivi sauce, renowned in Georgian cuisine, is a flavorful blend of ground walnuts, garlic, and spices. The preparation involves meticulous mixing, incorporating a bit of liquid, whether water or broth, until achieving a luxuriously smooth texture. This versatile sauce elevates the taste of salads, grilled vegetables, and meats. However, its pinnacle pairing is with poultry, where the unique combination of nuttiness, spice, and creaminess harmonizes to create a culinary masterpiece.

How do you eat Georgian Chicken in Walnut Sauce?

Georgian chicken in walnut sauce, a delectable and distinctive dish, holds a traditional place in Christmas or New Year supras in the country. Customarily served cold, it proves to be an excellent make-ahead option. To indulge in this culinary delight:

  1. Preparation:
  • Place chicken breasts in a large saucepan.
  • Cover with cool water and sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of salt.
  1. Cooking Method:
  • Follow the traditional cooking process, ensuring the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Once prepared, allow the dish to cool, enhancing its flavors.
  1. Serving Style:
  • Serve the Georgian chicken in walnut sauce chilled, letting the velvety smoothness of the walnut-infused sauce complement the succulence of the chicken.

Enjoy this gastronomic experience as a refreshing addition to festive celebrations or any occasion where unique flavors take center stage.

What is Satsivi made of?

Satsivi (Georgian: საცივი) is a Georgian dish featuring walnut sauce, traditionally served cold as a delightful dipping sauce for boiled or fried turkey or chicken. The composition of this culinary masterpiece includes:

  • Main Ingredients:

  • Walnuts

  • Water

  • Garlic

  • Additional Flavor Elements:

  • A blend of dried herbs, typically saffron and fenugreek

  • Vinegar for tanginess

  • Cayenne pepper for a hint of spice

  • Seasoning:

  • Salt to taste

This harmonious combination of ingredients crafts the velvety and flavorful satsivi sauce, creating a unique culinary experience that tantalizes the taste buds.

Where is Satsivi from?

Satsivi, with its origins rooted in Georgia, is a delectable thick paste crafted from walnuts and enriched with an abundance of herbs and spices. This culinary creation, our version featuring chicken, achieves its pinnacle when served cold, having been thoughtfully chilled in the fridge overnight. Embrace the authentic flavors of Georgia with this unique dish that showcases the rich culinary heritage of the region.

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