Chicken With Walnut Sauce


I remember the first time I tasted “Chicken With Walnut Sauce”. I was in China on holiday and my hotel served it at a buffet banquet. It went down well with a drink, but I couldn’t eat much. Not because it wasn’t delicious – but because it was so rich and creamy that I just couldn’t face more than three mouthfuls.

Satsivi (chicken with walnut sauce)

  • 1h prep
  • 1h 10m cook
  • 6 servings
Satsivi (chicken with walnut sauce)

Satsivi, originating in Georgia, is a thick paste made from walnuts and flavoured with loads of herbs and spices. Our version uses chicken, and is best served cold after having been chilled in the fridge overnight.


Reader Recipe


out of 10

Health Score*


705 calories per serve

Allergens: Recipe may contain tree nut and mustard.

More nutrition information >

  • 18 Ingredients
  • 7 Method Steps
  • 1 large (about 2kg) corn-fed chicken
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1.5-2L water, to cover
  • 175g (11/2 cups) walnuts
  • 1 brown onion, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 sprig fresh coriander, leaves picked
  • 1 small fresh red chilli, deseeded
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 11/2 tsp chilli powder, or to taste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt (up to 1 tbsp)
  • Fresh coriander leaves, extra, to serve
  • Fresh red chillies, extra, to serve
  • Select all ingredients


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  • Step 1Place chickenUnsure of the quantity needed?Click on the underlined ingredient to reveal the quantity. No need to flip back and forth!OK, GOT IT, carrots and onion in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from stock. Set aside until both the chicken and stock have cooled.
  • Step 2Strain the stock through a fine sieve placed over a large bowl (you should have 3-4 cups of full-flavoured stock). Reduce the stock by simmering further, if necessary.
  • Step 3Remove the chicken meat from the bones and cut into large pieces. Cover and place in the fridge. Discard the bones.
  • Step 4Place the walnuts in a blender and blend until a smooth paste forms. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Step 5Place onion, garlic, coriander leaves, chilli and a little stock in the blender and blend until smooth. Add to walnut mixture with 125ml (1/2 cup) of remaining stock and stir to combine.
  • Step 6Add the vinegar, ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, curry powder and cumin to the walnut mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt (the mixture does need to be a bit salty as Faina does not use salt in the stock). Gradually stir the remaining stock into walnut mixture until it is quite runny and creamy. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to thicken.
  • Step 7Place chicken in a large serving bowl. Add walnut sauce, cover and place in the fridge for 7 hours. Serve topped with extra coriander and chillies.


Prep: 1 hour (+ cooling, and 1 night + 7 hours chilling time)


Chicken in garlic walnut sauce is a fresh way to enjoy chicken! This traditional Georgian recipe combines light spice and nuttiness into a savoury sauce, heaven on a bed of rice!

Top down shot of chicken in garlic walnut sauce

English summer is not something you can count on. Summer here comes and goes as it wishes, no explanations or apologies given.

Truly hot days are more rare than we like to admit. It’s why so many of us escape to warmer, sunnier countries at some point in the year.

Although the beautiful country of Georgia might not be the first one people think of for a holiday abroad, it is one I was fortunate enough to visit as a child. I vividly remember the shores of the Black Sea with stunning sand-and-sea filled days interspersed with great food.

Top down shot of naan and greens on plate

Although Georgian cuisine isn’t too well known outside of the region, I can testify that it really is something special. Warm, comfort food dishes with fresh ingredients and an ingenious approach to spices all add up to be something remarkable.

Tempting? I sure hope so. There’s so much amazing Georgian food worth discovering, and I hope this classic recipe convinces you to try more!

Top down of chicken in garlic walnut sauce in a pan


This Chicken in Garlic Walnut Sauce or Chicken Satsivi in Georgian is a well-known and loved dish across the region. I adapted the recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks so it might not be ultra-authentic, but it’s nonetheless absolutely fantastic.

Chicken Satsivi is an incredible dish for hot and sticky summer nights. It will satisfy your craving for comfort food but will not leave you feeling stuffed and heavy.

The sauce base is made of herbs, spices and walnuts and is slightly reminiscent of Indian Korma but has a completely different flavour. My entire family immediately fell in love with this chicken in garlic walnut sauce while kids demanded to know what was in it.

Process shot of sauce ingredients in bowl

It tends to leave a lasting impression. If you have any experience cooking with curry pastes you will find this one just as easy.

Serve it with rice, flat bread ‘lavash,’ (or naan if it’s easier to find) and a simple fresh salad. I remember Georgian cuisine being heavy on grilled meat, fish, herbs, spices and vegetables. It’s healthy, simple and delicious.

Satsivi Recipe: Georgian Chicken in Walnut Sauce

Beyond khachapuri and khinkali, there are few Georgian dishes out there that are as popular and well-known as satsivi and it really isn’t hard to see why. This decadent dish that combines poultry with a luscious walnut sauce is commonly served at New Year’s Eve and Christmas supras in Georgia, however, it is also popular throughout the year. If you’re interested in trying this Georgian chicken in walnut sauce, then make sure to give this satsivi recipe a whirl.

Satsivi, though often served hot (especially outside of Georgia) is traditionally meant to be served cold – the world “tsivi” (ცივი) actually means “cold” in Georgia, however, it is just as delicious if you would rather it be a warm or room temperature dish. Using the copious amount of walnuts (there is a saying that Georgians put walnuts into everything except their wine!), lots of garlic and traditional warm spices, Satsivi is a dish that is sure to delight all those you serve it to.

Though this dish can seem incredibly decadent and robust, there are only a small handful of ingredients and it is relatively easy and straightforward to make. Much like other Georgian chicken recipes (like chakhokhbili, shkmeruli or chikhirtma), it is the combination of just a few ingredients that work together to make this dish so spectacular.

So if you’re interested in learning how to make Georgian chicken in walnut sauce, then look no further — this chicken satsivi recipe is sure to be a winner!

What is Satsivi?

Before I jump into the full chicken satsivi recipe, we do need to discuss exactly what this dish is. As I’ve mentioned already, it is a poultry dish that is submerged in a flavourful walnut sauce that is typically served cold in Georgia. But there is more to it than just that.

Traditionally, satsivi is made with turkey but many Georgians over the years have adapted it to use chicken instead and that is actually the most common poultry you will find in this dish.

Typically, a whole chicken is used, however, I have opted to go a simpler route and only use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The sauce is so robust and flavourful that you don’t need to bother with an entire chicken.

It is possible to make a cauliflower or eggplant satsivi if you want a vegetarian version of this dish.

Chicken satsivi
Chicken satsivi

The sauce consists of finely ground walnuts mixed with garlic and warm spices and then simmered with water or stock. In Georgia, it’s traditional to use water as the base of the sauce, however, I call for chicken stock in my recipe as I think it gives the dish a more robust and multifaceted flavour.

I’ve also seen the sauce be pureed until incredibly silky smooth or even sieved to remove anything, but I don’t think this is a necessary step. I actually prefer there to be a bit of texture left in the sauce from the walnuts — it’s also easier and doesn’t require any other equipment, both things that I love when cooking!

As mentioned earlier, satsivi is a dish that will almost always make an appearance on the table at a New Year’s Eve or Christmas supra (Georgian feast), however, it is popular to eat all year round. Looked at as a celebratory dish, satsivi is easy and delicious and you’re sure to love it.

Satsivi sauce bubbling away
Satsivi sauce bubbling away

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