Anyone who has visited Turkey will know that Turkish cuisine is diverse and rich. There is a wide variety of dishes that make up Turkish cuisine, and the culture surrounding such meals is one of life-long enjoyment.
The vast diversity of Turkish food is derived from its rich history of lands and its connection to Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Balkan cultures. The result? A colourful array of delicacies that are rich and complex in flavour.
The Southeastern Anatolian region of Turkey is famous for its kebabs. Meanwhile, the Aegean region is known for its olive production and, in turn, its delicious olive oil-based dishes. Dishes originating from the Eastern Black Sea region are typically rich in corn and cornflour. Head to the Thrace region and you’ll be welcomed by a sea of delicious pastries.
Istanbul captures the most delicious dishes from each of Turkey’s regions, and neighbouring countries, to offer a unique cuisine that warms the heart and soul.
Chicken is a star ingredient in many Turkish recipes, so here are some of our favourite authentic Turkish recipes for chicken.
Turkish Kebab Recipes
A staggering 1.3 million kebabs are sold everyday in the UK. Over 20,000 kebab restaurants sell 2.5 tonnes of lamb and chicken doner kebabs and the kebab industry contributes £2.8 billion towards to British economy annually.
Kebabs really do have a hold over our nation. And with good reason too. Originating from Turkey, brought to Turkey b Afghans, and further popularised in Mughlai cuisine, the kebab is one of the most versatile dishes you can try.
Kebabs are the crown jewel of Turkish cuisine. In Turkey, the word kebab incorporates any dish that is cooked over, or next to, a flame. This includes both small and large cuts of meat, including chicken. Kebabs can be served on a plate, in a sandwich, or in a wrap.
With over 110 different kebabs in the Turkish cuisine, you’ve got plenty of flavours to sink your teeth into.
Turkish Chicken Doner Kebab Recipe
The Doner Kebab is a style of cooking that can be traced back to the Ottoman era. With a doner kebab, the mean is traditionally stacked and cooked on a vertical spit.
Turkish chicken doner kebab is made by slowly roasting seasoned chicken on a rotating vertical split. The chicken is then thinly sliced and served with a pita bread, or rice, and accompanied with your favourite salad and dressing.
2 – 3 tbsps of our Doner Kebab seasoning
500g of chicken
2 tbsp yoghurt
2 tbsp milk
1 medium egg (optional)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
Blend the seasoning mix, yoghurt, milk, garlic cloves and egg (if using) in a food processor to create a marinade.
Dice the chicken into approx. 3 – 4 cm cubes then, in a large bowl, coat the chicken in the marinade and leave in the fridge to marinate for 3 – 24 hours. The longer you leave the chicken to marinade, the better it will taste!
Preheat the oven to 220C (standard oven) / 200C (fan/convection oven)
Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers. When threading the chicken, repeatedly push the chicken pieces so that they are snugly compacted.
Prop the skewers on the edges of a deep baking tray so they are elevated and can cook on all sides. Drizzle the skewers with oil then bake for 35 minutes or until the chicken starts to turn golden and char.
After 35 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven, baste the juices over the chicken then drizzle with oil and bake again for a further 20 – 25 minutes.
Once the chicken has a deep golden colour with more charring, it’s ready to remove from the oven.
Rest the chicken for 5 minutes then thinly slice the meat. We recommend using a potato peeler to easily slice the chicken.
Serve with your choice or a pita bread or rice, as well as your favourite salad and dressing.
Turkish Chicken Shish Kebab Recipe
Another popular kebab in Turkey is the chicken shish kebab, natively known as the tavuk şiş kebab. The origins of chicken shish kebabs are through to be traced back to the war when Turkish soldiers first invaded Anatolia --- picture solider using their swords to grill meats over an open fire.
While the doner kebab consists of sliced or carved meats that have been slow-roasted on a spit, the shish kebab features skewered cubes of marinated chicken that are grilled. These chicken pieces are then served with a flatbread, pita or rice. Don’t forget to add your favourite salad --- think tomatoes, fresh onion, and peppers to add a splash of colour and refreshing flavour.
To get the perfect shish kebab flavour, you can buy our chicken shish kebab seasoning. This seasoning kit features the organic, natural, authentic Turkish spices and herbs needed to create tasty shish kebabs.
Turkish Dolma and Sarma Recipes
Turkish Dolma or Sarma refers to dishes that are stuffed or wrapped.
Sarma can be eaten hot or cold. Etli Sarma are sarma dishes that contain meat and are eaten hot. The other group of sarma is zeytinyağlı which means “with olive oil”. These sarma dishes are meat-free and eaten cold.
The Turkish word “dolma” means to stuff or fill. In food terms, this often references stuffing or filling vegetables. While, the word “Sarma” refers to foods that are wrapped. Typically speaking, these foods will be wrapped in grape vine leaves.
You can make a delicious yet easy Turkish chicken dolma recipe by wrapping chicken, rice, fresh herbs and spices, in blanched vine leaves and booking for 40 minutes. You can get creative with the seasoning. Use fresh mint and herbs, or experiment with your favourite spices.
We teamed up with Zali’s cooking to offer a traditional Turkish Dolma/Sarma recipe of stuffed vine leaves.
Lahmacun Turkish Pizza Recipe
If you’re a fan of pizza, then you’re going to love lahmacun.
Lahmacun is also known as Turkish pizza due to its shape. Unlike pizza, this round, thin dough is not usually topped with cheese. The word “lahmacun” is derived from the Arabic لحم بعجين, which means “meat with dough”.
Lahmacun can be served on a flat, as you would with pizza, or it can be topped with vegetables and rolled into a wrap before eating.
You can make your own delicious homemade lahmacun using a mixture of Turkish spices, ground chicken, and other fresh ingredients.
Follow our Lahmacun recipe here but swap the minced lamb for ground chicken to create chicken lahmacun.
Capturing the flavour of traditional Turkish chicken recipes
Here at Baharat, we offer an array of herbs and spices to help you capture the flavour of traditional Turkish chicken recipes. We're a brand built on Turkish roots --- as such, we know a thing or two about creating tasty dishes that capture the rich aromas of Turkish cuisine.
We are committed to using the single origin spices that are grown organically and naturally dried. All of our spices are naturally free from gluten, allergens and any additivty, colourings, anti-caking agents or fillers. You'll only get traditional Turkish flavours with our seasoning kits.