Recipes from Armenia: Chicken Herriseh

Recipes from Armenia

Chicken Herriseh

Country: Armenia
Course: Main
Makes: 8 to 10 servings


  • 3 lbs whole chickens
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups wheat berries, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • cumin
  • paprika (optional)
  • butter (optional)


  1. Boil the chicken in 8 cups of water for about an hour and 45 minutes. Leave the lid on your pot but tilt it slightly so that not a whole lot of steam can escape.
  2. Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool. Do not discard the broth.
  3. Shred the chicken and set aside.
  4. Strain the broth into a measuring cup to determine how much you have left. Then add water to the broth to bring the amount back up to 8 cups.
  5. Put the broth in a large pot and add the wheat berries, the shredded chicken, and salt to taste.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for four to six hours, or until the wheat berries are soft. Don't be tempted to stir the pot.
  7. Smash the wheat berries and chicken with a potato masher. The finished mixture should look like oatmeal. If it doesn't, you didn't cook it long enough.
  8. Serve in bowls with a pat of butter and some cumin and paprika sprinkled on top.