- a good-sized chicken trimmed and cut into pieces
- 3 handfuls of shelled fresh walnuts
- 5-7 medium-sized cloves of garlic
- 1 small mild onion~bay leaves
- 2 spoonfuls of khmeli suneli*
- 1 spoonful of kviteli qvavili*
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Place the chicken pieces in a good sized stock pot, cover with fresh, cold water and bring to a boil.
- Add some salt, black pepper and two or three bay leaves to the pot.
- Cover, reduce heat and let simmer until the chicken is done.
- Meanwhile, grind the walnuts, garlic cloves and onion through the finest blade of a meat grinder and place in a large pan or pot.
- Season the mixture with the khmeli suneli and kviteli qvavili, mix well to incorporate all the flavors and set aside.
- When the chicken is done, remove from the pot and separate the meat from the skin and bones. Set aside.
- Do not discard the bouillon. Gradually add the hot bouillon (which has been strained and skimmed) into the walnut mixture, stirring well to make a smooth sauce.
- Typically, this takes about 4-6 cups of bouillon in order to make a sauce which is neither too thin nor too thick. Check for seasonings, adding salt and black pepper as required.
- Finally, add the chicken pieces to the sauce and mix well. sacivi is eaten warm or at room temperature, never hot.
Note to the spices: khmeli suneli and kviteli qvavili are traditional Georgian spice blends. Without them, the dish will lack its characteristic flavour. There is no one recipe for making them since every region will have its own speciality. Make sure you have plenty of good bread for dipping in the sauce. If you really want to impress your guests, you can give your sacivi an authentic Georgian touch as follows. Save some of the ground and seasoned walnuts, take them in your hand and squeeze them over top of the completed dish. Drops of yellow, seasoned walnut oil will fall in big polka dots over the top.