turkish chicken kebabs + pomegranate pistachio relish + spiced yogurt

11 Jan

Oh yeah, this recipe is a mouthful to say. It might be best left as a weekend recipe, but if you’re really good at prep work then go for it on a weekday. It’s really not hard – it is just chicken on a skewer after all, but there are a fair amount of components.

I managed to get my work to order Bon Appetit under the guise that we should have magazines that appeal to all interests. No matter that I may be the only one there who reads it, I still count! This month’s issue had a section on spiffing up the lowly chicken and this recipe definitely did the trick. It’s light, yet complex, and fun to eat too. Plus, it was made by the chef at a restaurant that I’ve been to back in Cambridge, MA – Oleana.

For my boyfriend’s birthday, I got him a ridiculous grill. We’ve been using it all the time – such a treat after using a Smoky Joe for years! But if you don’t have a grill, or if it’s too cold and snowy, you don’t have to grill the chicken for this recipe, or make kebabs for that matter. You can broil it, or bake it, or use a grill pan if you’ve got one.

You can also make any kind of veggie side that you’d like. I grilled chunks of zucchini, eggplant, and onion. They were really, really good. I bought a red pepper to mix in also, but I forgot it. If you make one vegetable to go with the chicken, I recommend eggplant. It is just the best. Simply roasting it with some olive oil, salt, and pepper is delicious.

The plan for attacking this recipe is to make the Baharat seasoning first. Then prepare the chicken in the marinade. While that’s marinading, you can leisurely make the yogurt and the relish. Hey, that’s not so bad, actually!

baharat seasoning
All adapted from Bon Appetit. Serves 4.

1 1/2 tablespoons dried mint
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together. You may have to crush up the dried mint. The stuff I found was still full leaf and attached to stems. You could certainly also add fresh if you’ve got it, or if it’s all you can find.

spiced yogurt sauce

3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Baharat seasoning
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
salt to taste

Mix ingredients together. Feel free to use non-Greek yogurt. I did. As long as you drain the liquid out, you get the same basic consistency. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup tahini. I didn’t have any, nor did I feel like buying some because I rarely use it. I really thought this yogurt sauce was great as is, but feel free to add tahini if you like it or are curious. Serve this at room temperature.

pomegranate pistachio relish

1 1/4 cups pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

For the pomegranate, I would say don’t worry about matching the 1 1/4 cup amount. Just use one pomegranate and then adjust the rest of the recipe accordingly. You can also use salted or unsalted (as the recipe calls for) pistachios. I had salted.


1/2 cup coarsely grated onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Baharat seasoning
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, each halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 3 pieces
salt and pepper

1. Mix first four ingredients together then add chicken. Season with salt and pepper and let marinade for 1 to 2 hours, or more if you’ve got it.

2. Skewer chicken pieces. Season again with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes a side, depending on thickness. Our chicken was pretty big, so we cooked it a little longer to be safe.

3. Serve chicken with yogurt, relish, and the veggie you decided to make.


5 Responses to “turkish chicken kebabs + pomegranate pistachio relish + spiced yogurt”

  1. Colleen January 17, 2011 at 18:23 #

    Hi – I’m working on the baharat seasoning and do not have coriander. Any suggestions? I may just need to run to the store. I plan to try an oven process for cooking. Thanks. CRS

    • Julie January 19, 2011 at 17:03 #

      Hi Colleen!

      I’m a little late replying, and I’m happy to hear you ended up using coriander – I love it! If you’re ever again in a bind without it, you could perhaps try to substitute with some lemon zest and extra cumin. Coriander is kind of citrusy, so that’s why I say that. You could also try a little caraway or sage, since those flavors are also kind of present in coriander seeds.

  2. youmen August 1, 2016 at 09:22 #

    Done and it was excellent ….


  1. lebanese beef kebabs « the crankin' kitchen! - May 1, 2012

    […] spoken of my love for savory yogurt sauces before. Please make one for these kebabs. It’s so, so simple. Whole milk yogurt, lemon juice, […]

  2. lamb tagine « the crankin' kitchen! - October 31, 2012

    […] a bad person. Egypt, too. I don’t even know much how to differentiate Egyptian food from other Middle Eastern cuisines. I would like to be more cultured! Maybe that area should get their shit […]

share your thoughts! and hopes and dreams!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: