Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chicken Tava

(Tavuk Tava, Adana region)

Chicken Tava
250 g dark chicken meat, cut in medium sized chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
9-10 mushrooms, cleaned, cut in halves
1 cubanelle pepper, cut in medium sized chunks
2 large tomatoes, peeled, sliced
6-7 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp red pepper paste, mild - mixed with 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp butter, cut in small size
1/2 tsp crushed pepper (red pepper flakes)

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Saute the chicken with olive oil for about 4-5 minutes while stirring in a medium-size pot. Place the mushrooms over the chicken, and then the cubanelle peppers over the mushrooms. Arrange the tomato slices on top side by side, don't leave empty spaces. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper all over them. Place the garlic cloves on top and pour the red pepper paste all over tomatoes. Add the butter pieces over the tomatoes.

Cover and turn the heat to high first. When the dish starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low heat. Cook for about 1 hr and 30 minutes.

2 servings.

Meal Ideas:
- Creamy Yogurt Dip, Turkish Rice Pilaf, Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Rolls and Mastic Pudding.



At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,

I loved this dish. I will make it tonight. There is just one thing. I the receipe you are mentioning crushed tomatos but there is no crushed tomato in the ingredients. I thought it was crushed red pepper but wanted to ask just in case. Thank you for all your efforts and this wonderful website.


At 5:07 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Semi,
Thank you, I just corrected:) it's crushed red pepper.

At 2:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your website. I has given me confidence to cook more Turkish food. I ould like your opinion. I am married to a Turk and every Christmas eve we have had an open house for cookies and coffe. I has grown over the years and more and more Turks attend. We have decided to have less cookies this year and more hors d'ouvers. Could you recommend some finger foods that can mostly be prepared ahead of time? My short list includes hummus, mercimel kofte, tarator on toast, cheese cigara borek, meat borek, cold yaprak dolma and possibly mucver. I would appreciate any suggestions you can give. thanks

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you:) Every food on your list looks just perfect! If you like, you may add Sesame Seed Chicken and Sesame Seed Rings.
Happy New Year!

At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you please explain how to make red pepper paste...I know it's simple and my friend showed me while I was in Turkey, but I can't remember now.

OH and I LOVE your site...I lived in Adana for 2 years and just returned to the states 3 months ago and was wondering how I was going to get all that Turkish flavor and make the food...Thanks again :)

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you:) I've already post the recipe, here is the address:

At 10:52 PM, Blogger shylag said...

Selam Binnur Hanim,
I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE your cookbook and recipes. Everything I try comes out right and my husband loves it. I am half Turkish and my husband is Turkish but I grew up with my mom who was American. As a result my Turkish coking skills were not very good. After some practice and finding your website, some of my friends (who grew up in Turkey!)are asking me for recipes. I give them all your site and you should be happy to know that there are many happy Turkish men in south Florida as a result :) As you know us yeni gelins need work. Thanks for everything! I will buy your hardcopy soon so I can keep it in my kitchen easier. Thanks again!

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting this recipe. I cannot wait to make it. Chicken Tava at the Red Onion resturant outside Incirlik Air Base was one of my favorites. Best food and people I have ever come across in my travels were in Turkey. I sure wish there was more Turkish resturants in the US.


At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was stationed at Incirlik and loved a chicken dish There it had rice adn I think it was the tava but it had cheese also....?

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I've posted the original Chicken Tava dish. It can also be cooked in the oven. It may be add some Kasar cheese to top as a variety. But we have another chicken dish which cooked in the oven with the kasar (mozzarella) cheese:) You can serve both dishes with the Pilaf on the side.

At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi and congrats for your great recipes. I need to ask you on this one. If my wife can't eat garlic and I can't eat that either, will the dish be much worse if i just don't add garlic to it? :)

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you:) It won't be worst without garlic:)

At 1:39 PM, Blogger PuntBamaPunt said...

I used to eat Tava in a small cafe near Adana many decades ago. Seems like fresh green hot pepper with small pieces of potatoes were cooked in the mixture. This dish was cooked in a wood fired ceramic oven along with fresh baked bread.

I've cooked this dish many times and plan on cooking come tonight.

I really miss the tastes from that area.

Wish the world were a safer place so we could travel back.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Misty said...

This recipe is absolutely astounding and if you follow the recipe, it comes out perfectly. The last 20 minutes, I walked away and the bottom got a little burned, but it was still so good. I'll be eating the leftovers for days. With the 1.5 hour cooking time, it will definatly be a weekend dish.

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous jo said...

hello binnur,

I know it might be a silly question but what do you mean by 'dark chicken'? Is it a meat from a chicken leg etc..but not a chicken breast...or i get it totally wrong.thank you very much indeed :)

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hello Jo,
No, it is not:)Chicken breast is the white meat. The rest is the dark meat like leg etc.:)

At 2:47 AM, Blogger Jana Inanc said...

Hi Binnur,

I am planning on cooking this food in an oven - do I need to adjust the cooking time? Obviously I am going to first brown the chicken in a pan...
Also what temperature should the oven be?
Thanks a lot...

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Yes, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Saute with olive oil for about 4-5 minutes while stirring in a medium sized pot. Then the rest is the same.....
If you use oven proof dish, preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) or 375 F. Almost every oven has different settings. You may need to adjust the time or heat.
Don't forget to put the lid on the dish. After an hour you should check if it is cooked or not:)

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I was stationed at Incirlik AB in Adana, and this was my favorite dish! I have craved this for years! After finding you web site i will be preparing this soon Thanks!

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just purchased some dried urfa and marash peppers and am looking for recipes to use them in. Do some of your recipes substitute ingredients for them? Haven't found any calling for either of these peppers yet.


At 11:47 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

To use these pepper is your personal choice. You can anything you wish.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHen I was at the Red Onion Last my CHicken Tava came in a hot plate with melted cheese on top can you make your recipe like that?? and how do I make that falt bread they serve there

At 11:31 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I've already posted the recipes that you asked for. Please use google search box or the sections in my site to find them:)

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur,
I just discovered your site. How wonderful! My family and I were stationed at Incirlik A.B. it was one of the best assignments we had. I told my wife that i was cooking her chicken tava for dinner and you would'nt beleive how excited she got.

cok tesekkur ederim

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Turkey while I was in the military and this was my favorite dish. Make some cheese bread and have a tobourge (sp) awesome!!!

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Becca said...

Thank you for posting this recipe! I have craved Tava ever since I left Turkey 15 years ago. I'm a vegetarian now so I used green peppers instead of Chicken. I also added a little goat cheese on the top. It was so good! Thanks again!

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I've made this a couple times now, I changed it a little to boneless, skinless chicken breast cubes and I used canned tomatoes. I guess I "perfected" it to the flavor that we would eat living in Adana 19 years ago. Thanks for posting the recipe, it is a "flavor memory" of our great times living in Turkey!

At 2:55 PM, Blogger romel said...

Teshekur :)

I just stumbled upon your site and it brought back good memories when I was stationed in Incirlik, Adana for almost 2 years. This was the only Turkish dish always I ordered and ate whenever we would go outside the base to eat out. The only difference was that the Chicken Tava I ate was baked in a clay dish in the oven and then topped with cheese, and seasoned with more sumac instead of crushed red peppers when served.

Again, thanks :)

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Steven M. said...

As many often post stated, I have spent lots of time at Incirlik Air Base. I loved this dish and have not been able to recreate it. I made it tonight for friends and it was a hit. Thanks for the post, I will watch for more.

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is how they make it at Incirlik.


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