|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||9%|
|*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
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 4 to 5 boneless, skinless thighs
1 medium 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
1 teaspoon dried oregano, sumac, and paprika, optional
Gather the ingredients.
Blot the chicken breasts dry on paper towels.
Cut the meat into bite-sized cubes about the size of large dice.
Using the finest grater possible, make a pulp from the onion and garlic cloves.
Pour this pulp and juice into a fine mesh strainer and, using a wooden spoon, press out the juice into a separate bowl.
Discard the onion and garlic pulp.
In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine the onion-garlic juice, yogurt or milk, 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 or overnight for the best results.
If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for a few hours so they don't ignite on the grill.
Preheat a grill to medium heat.
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and thread them onto small metal or soaked bamboo kebab 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 with salt and put them on the grill. Grill them evenly on all sides, about 12 minutes total. You can sprinkle Turkish spices like oregano, sumac, and paprika over the hot kebabs to add extra flavor.
Serve and enjoy.
- 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.
Are Turkish Chicken Kebabs Healthy?
Shish kebabs, which are typically made from whole pieces of lean meat, are a good protein option for a balanced diet. They tend to be lower in fat than kebabs made from a mixture of ground meat. Chicken shish kebabs are made with either breast or thigh meat—white meat offers a leaner source of protein, making it a healthy main dish.