Merhaba all; we had a delightful Turkish cookery class recently and this baked eggplant or aubergine kebab with chicken, onions and peppers was a big hit at the class.
This is a southern Turkish style kebab, prepared at homes. The aubergines (eggplants) are double baked in this recipe, Southern Turkish style, which intensify their flavor. In Southern part of Turkey, especially in the regions of Gaziantep and Antakya, locals would use up the left over grilled or barbecued eggplants to make this delicious, home style kebab the next day. A tradition in Antakya is to prepare the kebab at home and take the tray to the local bakery to be baked in the wood fired oven, providing amazing, melt-in-the mouth flavors. I hope you enjoy recreating this lovely, impressive dish in your home for family and friends.
Tip: Marinating the chicken in yoghurt, olive oil, Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi and spices is really well worth the effort; it tenderizes the chicken and enables the flavors to blend well.
I am passionate about delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine and it is a pleasure to share authentic Turkish recipes from my southern Turkish roots. This delicious kebab and over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. Signed copies are now 25 % OFF from this link, and it is delivered worldwide, including the US and Canada, if you’d like to get a signed copy, ebook and kindle options available here too. We also have this lovely Ozlem’s Turkish Table apron with my hometown Antakya’s celebrated daphne leaves embroidered in the design, it can be a lovely gift to a foodie.
I hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun,
- 2 medium aubergines (eggplants)
- 700 gr / 1.5 lb. chicken thighs or chicken breast, skinned and cut in 4x4 cm (1.6” x 1.6”) chunks
- 2 red Romano (pointy) or bell peppers, deseeded and sliced in chunks
- 1 green (pointy or bell) pepper, deseeded and sliced in chunks
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 45 ml / 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- For the chicken marinade:
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. plain whole milk yoghurt
- ½ tbsp. tomato paste
- ½ tbsp. Turkish hot pepper paste (optional)
- 5 ml/ 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 15 ml / 1 tbsp. olive oil to sauté the marinated chicken
- For the sauce:
- ½ tbsp. red pepper paste or 1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ tbsp. tomato paste
- 12 fl. oz. / 1 ½ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F
- Peel the aubergines (eggplants) in zebra stripes, using a vegetable peeler or a small knife. Cut the aubergines in lengthways then in 1cm (0.4”) thick slices. Place the slices on a tray and sprinkle salt over them (The salt will help extract the bitter juices out of the aubergines). Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the marinade for the chicken. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Stir in the yoghurt, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, red pepper paste (if using) and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and ground black pepper to your taste and combine and mix the chicken pieces with the marinade. Cover the marinade and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes (you can prepare this marinade ahead of time, even overnight and leave in the fridge).
- Using kitchen paper towel, squeeze the excess moisture out of the aubergines. Place the aubergines on a tray and drizzle 3 tbsp. olive oil over them. Coat the pieces with the olive oil and partially bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until starting to char around the edges.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pan and stir in the marinated chicken pieces. Sauté over medium to high heat for 4 – 5 minutes, turn the heat off.
- Once the aubergine slices partially baked, prepare the chicken & aubergine bake with vegetables. In a large baking dish, place a chicken piece next to onion, pepper (alternating red and green pepper pieces) and aubergine slices. Keep on placing chicken and vegetables in this order side by side, until all the chicken and vegetables are layered. Spread any remaining aubergine slices at the top.
- To prepare the sauce, stir in the red pepper paste, tomato paste, red pepper flakes and the water to the pan used for sautéing the chicken. Combine all, also using any leftover chicken marinade sauce in the pan. Pour in this mixture over your tray with the chicken, aubergine and vegetables.
- Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, until chicken and vegetables are cooked and turned light golden color.
- Serve hot with plain rice or bulgur pilaf aside.
Özlem’ciğim, I really love the feature in Live Encounters Magazine. Everything is so beautifully presented and laid out. Congratulations on this very well-deserved triumph. Ellerine sağlık ve ailene selam söyle, sevgilerimle xoxo J
Sevgili Jolee’cigim, many thanks, I was delighted with the article too, most kind of them – a great platform to share delicious Turkish cuisine too. Cok selam ve sevgilerimle, Ozlem xxx
What a beautiful set of flavors, Ozlem. I’ve been working with eggplant this week too:) and I completely agree that marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices would make a huge difference. Love the Live Encounters article!
Many thanks Peri – with our shared love of spices, I know you’d appreciate marinating the chicken in yoghurt and spices – and my huge thanks to you for Live Encounters article as you’re the bridge between us! Look forward to your eggplant dish, with love, Ozlem xx
Özlem, you are making me hungry to try this and it is only 8.30 am!
Merhaba Barbara : ) Just imagine this dish with that gorgeous aubergines you can get in Provence, hope you enjoy it : ) xx Ozlem
. . my word that does look so good!
Love the article . Congratulations.
Thank you Annie, most kind : )
Sounds lovely. I completely agree about marinating the chicken in yoghurt (I sometimes use buttermilk instead) – it makes a real difference.
I agree with you Phil, marinating in yoghurt really is well worth the effort – buttermilk is a good idea too – glad you enjoyed the post.
Its simply superb.
thank you Neela, very kind.
I made this dish last night for my family, and we all loved it! So easy to make. Only requires one dish. The eggplant and peppers were very tasty; I’m glad I doubled the amount of vegetables. I also added whole cloves of garlic to roast with the vegetables. Thank you for providing such an easy, tasty and healthy recipe!
Merhaba Nurith, thank you so very much for your kind note, I really am glad you enjoyed this recipe – I am with you, I love the vegetables even more than the meat so doubling is a great idea, as well as adding whole cloves of garlic. Afiyet olsun and my huge thanks for your very kind feedback. Ozlem
Hi Ozlem, I made this for the second time today (That says I like it!)
Last time I didnt add enough chicken, so this time I added a bit more than you suggest (you loose some of the meat as you trim the fat – I might trim a bit too enthusiastically!). I also added a can of chopped tomato’s (and the pepper paste), instead of the water and tomato paste. I was really happy with the result!
Thanks again for the recipe though because I never would have dreamed of it!
People say that Aubergines in the UK dont need to be salted anymore because they are not so bitter – did you ever try not salting? I follow the recipe because when you have spent the time and money you dont want to ruin the dinner just to save 15 minutes and 1p of salt!
Merhaba Rob, delighted to get your note and you had another go at this recipe; canned of tomatoes is a lovely addition too, especially if you like more sauce, I love it too. You are right, aubergines especially in the UK are relatively smaller and have less seeds in it so less bitter. I do still salt mine and I suggest you do too, as aubergines have high water content – bitter or not bitter – and you need to get rid of this moisture, otherwise they become soggy when you saute them, so well worth of the 15 mins and salt spend : ) Really glad you enjoyed the recipe, eline saglik ve afiyet olsun!
Hi. I made this dish last night and I was rather disappointed. There was too much chicken compared to vegetables and I found the sauce did not thicken up in the dish. Where did I go wrong?
Merhaba, thank you for your note; sorry that it wasn’t up to your expectations. Being a kebab, traditionally it’s more on the chicken/meat side but by all means, you can increase the amount of the vegetables.It’s quite a saucy dish as we tend to dip our bread to the sauce. Some readers added another aubergine or a pepper or so, if you like to increase the vegetable amount. I love veg myself and throw in any left over veg in it too. I do hope this helps, please let me know if I can help further, thank you, Ozlem
Merhaba Özlem! Just wanted to say, I’m so happy I discovered your website! I make this dish all the time and the family love it! It’s especially great because my fussy children eat it without complaint also.
This dish and your Ali Nazik are absolutely delicious! Thank you for your recipes, ellerinize sağlık:)
Merhaba dear Hamide, many thanks for your kind note – absolutely delighted to hear you and your family enjoy this all in one pot recipe, we absolutely love it too : ) hearing kids enjoying is the best compliment : )
Afiyet olsun, Ozlem
Do you cook this in a dish or on a tray as the recipe switches halfway through!
Thank you for your note – I par bake the aubergines in a tray then cook with the rest in a baking dish, I hope you enjoy it. Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem