Azerbaijan Lunch

Colleagues of mine are off to Baku, so I invited them over for an Azerbaijani lunch.

I’ve never made Baklava before, and was intrigued when  I accidentally purchased Filo dough, instead of puff pastry at the grocery store.  Now was the perfect time to give it a try!

It was not difficult at all, just labor intensive.  You have to butter each layer of dough individually, and then let the baked creation sit overnight.  I ordered take-out on Saturday, and made the baklava instead of dinner!

After baking, you pour the sugar syrup over top and let it rest overnight.  It was ready in time for Sunday lunch.

Next on the menu was Plov, or pilaf.

Lots of lovely dried fruits, fluffy basmati rice, lots of butter, and some chicken.

Another relatively easy dish.  I used 1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs to 6 cups of cooked rice.  I would use more chicken next time.  The recipe is below.  I did not use chestnuts.

Layered Rice Pilaff With Dried Fruit and Chestnuts

I rounded out the lunch with a cucumber and tomato salad, fresh watermelon, and some miniature pita breads slathered with butter and garlic, and warmed in the oven for a few minutes.  I also had a few leftover chocolate cupcakes that made an appearance.  (what?  Leftover cupcakes?? – I know, I know!!)

I set out my Azerbaijani tea set, and we had Laduree’s Marie Antoinette tea.

I hope I was able to share enough information about Baku/Azerbaijan to satiate their appetite until they actually arrive and can experience it for themselves!  What an adventure!

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