Authentic Turkish Chicken Kebab

Recipe of Elizabeth Taviloglu

  • Total:27 mins
  • Prep:15 mins
  • Cook:12 mins
  • Yield:6 to 8 kebabs (6 to 8 servings)


  • 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 ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish: oregano, sumac, and paprika

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  2. Heat a grill to medium.

  3. Wash the chicken in very cold water for several minutes.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  4. Blot the meat dry on paper towels.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  5. Cut the meat into bite-sized cubes about the size of large dice.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  6. Using the finest grater possible, make a pulp from the onion and garlic cloves.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  7. Pour this pulp and juice into a very fine mesh strainer, and using a wooden spoon, press out the juice into a separate bowl.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  8. Discard the onion and garlic pulp.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  9. In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine the onion/garlic juice, yogurt or milk, oil, tomato paste, black pepper, paprika, and salt.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  10. Add the cubed chicken and toss to coat.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  11. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, or overnight for the best results.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  12. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for a few hours so they don’t ignite on the grill.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  13. Remove the pieces from the marinade and thread them onto small metal or 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.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  14. 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.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  15. Serve with tomato and olive oil or eggplant and vegetable ragout as your vegetable, and a bread like lavaş.

    Turkish Chicken Kebab
  16. Enjoy!

    “Source, thespruceeats”

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