|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 11g||14%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 5g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||14%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Kebabs originated in Turkey, so you can't get much more authentic than these Turkish chicken kebabs, or tavuk şiş (tah-VOOK’ SHEESH’). The method of cooking meats on a skewer over an open fire originated on the steppes of central Asia. In Turkey, it’s said the descendants of Genghis Khan himself skewered their daily catch on their swords and cooked it over an open flame. This concept was refined over time and was brought to the world with the westward migration of Turkic peoples.
In comparison to some modern kebabs, authentic Turkish shish kebabs are actually very plain. The key to great authentic Turkish kebab is in the quality of the meat and the flavor imparted by the marinade. In a typically hospitable Turkish way, chicken kebabs are often served alongside grilled beef and lamb to offer an alternative for diners.
There are many versions of traditional chicken kebabs, and this one features a simple marinade made from plain yogurt, onion, garlic, and spices that transform white or dark meat chicken into succulent, flavorful kebabs. Serve with bulgur and summer vegetable salad or rice pilaf with orzo for a starch, and okra with tomato and olive oil or eggplant and vegetable ragout as your vegetable, and bread like lavaş.
Click Play to See This Turkish Chicken Kebab (Tavuk Şiş) Recipe Come Together
"The onion juice and other ingredients impart incredible flavor, and the yogurt does a great job tenderizing the chicken. I marinated the chicken overnight for maximum flavor. If possible, don't skip the tangy sumac garnish. It's practically essential!" —Diana Andrews
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup plain yogurt, or milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Sumac, dried oregano, and paprika, for garnish, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels.
Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Using the finest grater possible, grate the onion and garlic cloves over a medium bowl.
Pour the pulp and juice into a fine mesh strainer and, using a wooden spoon, press out the juice into a medium bowl. Discard the onion and garlic pulp; reserve the juice.
Stir together the onion-garlic juice, yogurt, oil, tomato paste, black pepper, paprika, and salt.
Add the cubed chicken and toss to coat.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight for maximum flavor.
Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in water for 30 minutes so they don't catch fire on the grill.
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and thread them onto soaked bamboo kebab skewers or metal skewers. The chunks of chicken can touch each other, but don’t put them too close together to ensure they cook through. Discard any remaining marinade.
Sprinkle the kebabs generously with salt and place on pre heated grill. Grill evenly on all sides, about 12 minutes total.
Garnish with sumac, dried oregano, and paprika, if desired, and serve.
- You can adjust the ingredients to your taste and add hot red pepper in place of sweet paprika to spice things up.
- You can also add vegetables like cherry tomatoes to the skewers if you wish.