Unless they’re vegetarian, it’s pretty difficult for food lovers to come to Turkey and leave without sampling good old tavuk şiş (chicken shish kebab).
Before we ever came to Turkey, we’d followed recipes for tavuk şiş where we would take our skewer and place a chunk of onion, a slice of pepper, a cube of chicken, a chunk of onion, a slice of pepper, a cube of…and so on before grilling it. That’s what all the TV chefs told us to do so we did it.
None of that nonsense here in Turkey!
A good tavuk şiş is cooked on a large barbecue known as an ocakbaşı. The skewer is crammed only with large chunks of chicken and the peppers, onions and tomatoes are grilled at the side. Just wonderful! So simple – but one of my favourite meals.
For us, this shot is a photo of the perfect tavuk şiş and I was lucky enough to order this for dinner a few nights ago at Mozaik Bahçe Restaurant in Fethiye. Marinated, chargrilled chunks of chicken, slightly blackened in places but juicy and tender in the middle.
Grilled sweet red pepper complements the chicken – actually, grilled peppers complement anything for us. We love them!
Usually, şiş kebabs are served on a bed of pide or lavash bread – but this time, the bread was served on the side. Specialising in food from the Hatay region of Turkey, Mozaik Bahçe is well known for its spicy pepper sauce and, as you can see in the photo, the flatbread was covered in it and then heated.
I enjoyed getting messy with this, placing a chunk of chicken and a sprinkling of onion and parsley salad on each triangle of bread before rolling it up popping (stuffing) it into my mouth and savouring all the flavours.
And finally, a lot of restaurants geared towards tourists in the Fethiye area of Turkey will serve just about every meal with a side of rice and chips. We haven’t got much of a problem with this but when it’s a şiş kebab – just no! Bulgur wheat all the way! Any type of barbecued meat and bulgur are just best friends.
Must ask the people at Mozaik Bahçe how they cooked their bulgur wheat because we’ve never had it like this before…