Turkish-style Grilled Chicken with Yogurt and Cumin (Tavuk Izgara) Recipe

Chicken Thigh
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  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Yogurt, garlic, cumin, and lemon are the flavor-producers for Turkish thighs. Plan ahead to let chicken marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Mediterranean Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein (WM Morrow & Co).

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 onion (small, coarsely chopped)
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 lemon (squeezed for juice)
  • 1 cup yogurt (plain)
  • 12 chicken thighs (boneless, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds, or 4 half broilers)
  • Garnish: salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish: lemon wedges, for serving

How to Make It

Toast the cumin seeds in a small saute pan over medium heat until the seeds are fragrant and start to pop in the pan. Remove from the heat and grind in a .

Place the cumin, onion, garlic, paprika, and lemon juice in an or and pulse to liquify. Add the yogurt and pulse just until blended.

Put the thighs in a shallow non-aluminum baking dish or bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss well to coat.

Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the broiler to make a charcoal fire. Thread the thighs if using on 4 skewers. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Broil or grill until the juices run clear, about 6 minutes each side. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
783 Calories
41g Fat
21g Carbs
80g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)