This is a typical sweet prepared during the month of Ramadan. The name is a shortening of “güllü aş,” or “food with roses,” a reference to the rosewater. It is made from ready-made starch wafers, the making of which is a complex process and not feasible for the home cook. However they are generally available in Turkish food stores and online.
10 güllaç sheets
1 liter milk
2 c sugar
1/6 c rose water
150 gr blanched sliced almonds, unsalted
Bring the milk to a boil, reduce heat to a bare simmer and stir in 2 c sugar. Place a sheet of güllaç in a wide pan and pour a ladle of hot milk over it and let it soften and absorb milk, then place in a pan to fit. It will wrinkle and expand. Repeat with four more of the sheets, then spread the nuts over the güllaç. Finish off with the remaining five sheets and pour more milk over. There will be some unabsorbed milk, this is fine. Pouring on very hot milk will give the dish a better consistency as it cooks the starch; otherwise the dessert will be mushy. To serve, cut into squares and garnish each square with nuts, slices of fruit, pomegranate kernels or ground pistachio, or any combination you like. Sprinkle with rose water and serve.
A more traditional but more time-consuming way is to soak each sheet and then cut it in half, and wrap the filling inside and arrange in a pan, and pour the rest of the milk over and garnish as desired. Alternate fillings can be hazelnut, walnut, marzipan, coconut or any combination you like.
Milk Pudding with Chicken Breast
1750 gr milk
350 gr sugar
40 gr wheat starch
65 gr rice flour
1 ½ c water
½ t salt
½ chicken breast, as fresh as possible
Simmer a chicken in 8 cups water until done. Take half the breast meat, and cut it into pieces. Let these pieces sit in a cup of water in a large bowl, and with the thumb and forefinger, rub until they come apart into individual fine fibers. (If the chicken is not fresh, this will be difficult and the fibers will be thick and stringy.) Set aside.
Combine 1750 gr milk, salt and sugar into a heavy pan, and bring to a boil. Mix 1 ½ c water, wheat starch and rice flour, and whisk into the hot milk, and simmer, stirring constantly, until this begins to thicken. When the milk has begun thicken, take two ladles of this and add to the rubbed chicken breast and mix with a fork, then pour this mixture back into the large pot and continue stirring until well thickened. Pour the finished tavuk göğsü into serving dishes with a dry ladle, or pour into a square pan and when cold, cut into square pieces for serving.