Turkish Rice Pilaf With Chicken and Chick Peas

Turkish Pilaf iz ustun / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
542 Calories
27g Fat
41g Carbs
34g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 542
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 2209mg 96%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 510mg 11%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you take a stroll through the working neighborhoods of Turkey’s largest cities like Istanbul and Ankara, you’ll see street sellers serving steaming hot rice pilaf with chicken and chickpeas. Their two-wheeled vending carts are unmistakable, especially at lunchtime.

Rice pilaf with chicken and chickpeas, or ‘nohutlu pilavı’ (no-HOOT’-loo PEE’-lahv-uh), is popular on the streets because it’s very inexpensive. It also packs a lot of energy and nutrients if you’re working hard all day.

You can usually get a bowl of fresh pilaf and an ice-cold cup of the Turkish yogurt drink called ‘ayran’ (ai-RAHN’) for a few Turkish Lira or less.

Although it seems like a simple meal, it’s actually very delicious. Many families make it at home, especially for large gatherings. And you don’t need to make much else to go along with it. A fresh salad will do.

Rice and dried legumes like chickpeas are staples in Turkish cuisine and are some of the most popular Turkish ingredients. Go ahead and try Turkish rice pilaf with chicken and chickpeas for a simple, delicious meal all in one pot.


  • 1 1/2 whole chicken with skin

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 onion

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain rice

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the ½ chicken in a pot and fill it with enough water to cover the chicken by one inch. Peel the carrot and the onion and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pot. Let the chicken simmer gently until the meat is falling off the bones, about 30 minutes. Set it aside to cool.

  2. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the onion and carrot. Remove the chicken from the broth and separate all the meat from the bones, Discard the bones, skin, and gristle. Strain the broth through a fine wire strainer and set it aside.

  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and set them aside. In a large, shallow pan, melt the butter together with the oil. Add the rice and work the oils through all the grains with a wooden spoon. On low heat, continue to ‘fry’ the dry rice for a few minutes.

  4. Add the chickpeas, chicken broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Let the rice simmer very gently on low heat until all the liquid is absorbed.

  5. Turn off the heat. Open the top of the pan and arrange the chicken pieces over the top of the cooked rice. Do this quickly as you don’t want to lose too much steam. Replace the cover and let the rice continue to steam for about 10 minutes more.

  6. When you are ready to serve it, remove the lid. Using a large bowl as a mold, arrange the chicken pieces in the bottom and up the sides of the bowl. Using the wooden spoon, fill the bowl with the hot rice and gently pack it down to make it firm. When the bowl is full, turn it upside down on your serving plate. You can garnish the top with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs if you wish.

  7. Serve the rice piping hot with a glass of ice cold Turkish yogurt drink, called ‘ayran’ (ai-RAHN’).