Azerbaijan & Armenia

Azerbaijan

Original Word: ?

New Word: Caucasus Region

Nationality: Azerbaijani

Language: Azerbaijani (Azeri)

Population: 9,493,600

91st largest population in the world.

Capital: Baku

(The World Factbook)

I learned that the Caucasus region is the area that connects Europe and Asia. It also includes Russia, Georgia, and Armenia. The first thing I needed to do was learn how to pronounce this country. David helped me with this … Azer-by-jan. It took a few takes for me to get it right but now it rolls off the tongue. This fault I got from my father!

I made Chicken Plov for Azerbaijan. Plov is a rice pilaf. It is very traditional in the Caucasus Region. I have come across it in numerous countries. So, I thought this would be a great recipe for this country.

Chicken Plov

500g/1lb chicken (I used frozen)

1 onion, rough chop

1 tbsp allspice

water to cover

2 tbsp butter

1 onion, chopped

500g/1lb green beans, lightly steamed

lemon, juiced

pinch saffron in 2 tbsp hot water

serve with basmati rice

Boil chicken, rough chopped onion, allspice, and water until the chicken registers at 165F. Remove chicken and cook rice in leftover broth. Melt butter in a deep saute pan and sauté onions until translucent. Add chicken and green beans and cook until it develops some color. Add in saffron and serve with basmati.

I do have to say I probably won’t be making this again. It was a little bland. But, I did like the mixture of the saffron, allspice, and chicken. I like learning about spices in different cuisines.

Armenia

Original Word: Gangsters (Top Gear Reference)

New Word: Caucasus Region

Nationality: Armenian

Language: Armenian

Population: 2,970,495

138th largest population in the world.

Capital: Yerevan

(The World Factbook)

I really enjoyed my cooking for Armenia. Here in the UK, we have a group of friends who are all Americans or married to one. So, we got together a few weeks ago and had a Greek dinner. We had falafel, hummus, grilled halloumi, Greek salad, and I made spanakopita (spinach pie) which is David’s favorite. I also made Armenian honey cookies. Armenia and Greece are close by and the flavors of these cookies were similar to Greek desserts.

Everybody loved these cookies. They were soooooo good. I will definitely be making these again. I am not a snicker doodle fan but these were similar and have become my go to spiced cookie.

Armenian Honey Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar, additional for rolling

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg and honey. Combine dry ingredients. Mix dry and wet together. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on sheet pan with room to spread. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Let me know if you made any of these recipes and tell me what you think!

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