• Yield: Serves 4 (makes 8 kebabs)

  • Time: 8-10 minutes cooking

Chicken Shish (Şiş Tavuk) is a classic Turkish kebab that is also found all over the Middle East, with its roots in Syria and the Persian Empire. It is also one of the simplest kebabs in terms of ingredients, but getting it right is an art form: the meat has to be very tender and juicy, perfectly charred and well seasoned. A great trick they use in Turkey is to squeeze half a tomato into the marinade—the acidity helps tenderize the meat, and the sugars keep it sweet and help it turn a glorious golden color as it cooks.


Turkish Delights Turkish Delights

  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1/2 ripe tomato, skinned and seeded

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

  • Sea salt

  • Lemon wedges, to serve


1. Put the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, garlic, black pepper, oregano, and a good pinch of salt. Using your hands, squish the tomato into the bowl so that it breaks up. Mix it in well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat the broiler or barbecue to high. Meanwhile, thread the chicken onto skewers and rub a little oil all over them. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until charred and cooked through. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

From Turkish Delights by John Gregory-Smith © 2016. Photographs © 2016 by Martin Poole. Reprinted with permission from Kyle Books.