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Try your hand at this classic Turkish-Cypriot chicken kebab dish with a sweet red pepper, pomegranate and honey marinade from Meliz Berg's debut, Meliz's Kitchen

From the book


I often make these kebabs together with my Kuzu Şiş (Lamb Kebabs). Marinating the chicken like this really does help to infuse the flavours into the meat, while also keeping it tender. I prefer using boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets (instead of chicken breast) as the dark meat retains so much more moisture than breasts when cooked; however, feel free to use whatever you prefer. Serve in Kıbrıs Pidesi (Cypriot Pitta Bread) or with Domatesli Bulgur Pilavı (Tomato Bulgur Wheat Rice) and Hummus (Chickpea & Tahini Dip).

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1 kg skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets, cut into 7.5cm chunks
For the marinade:
4 tbsp thick set natural yoghurt
1 heaped tbsp Turkish sweet red pepper paste (tatlı biber salçası)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp pul biber
1 tsp paprika
To serve:
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Essential kit

You will need: 4–6 long metal skewers.

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For the marinade, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl or plastic storage box. Add the chicken pieces, coat in the marinade, and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge (or overnight if possible).

Thread the chicken pieces on to 4–6 long metal skewers snugly, but not too tightly, to ensure that all the pieces cook evenly.

On the Barbecue

Light your barbecue. Make sure that the coals are mostly white and at a medium–hot, steady heat before cooking.

Cook for around 20–25 minutes or until the dark thigh meat is cooked through yet still tender with lightly charred, crispy edges. Turn the skewers regularly. If there is some marinade left in the bowl or plastic storage box, baste the chicken halfway through the cooking time.

To serve, mix together the dried oregano, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl and brush over the freshly cooked kebabs.

Under the Grill

If you don’t have access to a barbecue, preheat your grill to a medium heat.

Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the skewers across it, trying to balance both ends of the skewers on the raised rim of the baking sheet. Cook the kebabs under the preheated grill for 15–20 minutes (see above), turning every few minutes so they cook evenly. Spoon the delicious juices that have collected in the base of the baking sheet over the kebabs at the end of the cooking time and brush over the dried oregano, lemon and oil mixture before serving (see above).

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From the book: Meliz’s Kitchen: Simple Turkish-Cypriot comfort food and fresh family feasts

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