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Tag Archives | Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Turkish style roast chicken with rice and currants stuffing – Ic Pilavli Firin Tavuk

My dear belated dad Orhan, absolutely loved his roast chicken, Firin Tavuk, with our traditional rice with currants (kus uzumu) stuffing, Ic Pilav. I have recreated this special recipe recently, and we greatly enjoyed it with friends. I used Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken recipe as a base and adapted to my Turkish style roast with our additions.

Towards to end of the roasting, we traditionally glaze the chicken with a mixture of tomato paste, yoghurt and olive oil; this gives a lovely colour and taste to the chicken.  The rice that we use to stuff the chicken is partially cooked – you can prep this ahead of time.

I hope you enjoy my mother’s roast chicken recipe, firin tavuk, which would appear at special family meals as well as at New Year’s Eve on our table. If you wish, you can stuff your turkey with this fragrant rice this way too. Muhammara, my mother’s walnut and red pepper paste dip, as well as zingy Shepherd’s Salad always accompanied our roast, if you like to include at your festive table – both recipes are included at my cookery table, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, as well as the Ic Pilav, Herby rice with pine nuts, currants, with addition of lamb liver (just omit lamb liver for a vegetarian option). My baked beetroot salad with pomegranate molasses also makes a lovely accompaniment to this festive dish. If you live in the USA, Canada or Mexico, there is now lower shipping rates for hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table at this link.

My very best wishes to you all for the festive season, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Turkish style roast chicken with rice and currants stuffing – Ic Pilavli Firin Tavuk
 
My dear belated dad Orhan, absolutely loved his roast chicken, Firin Tavuk, with our traditional rice with currants (kus uzumu) stuffing, Ic Pilav. I have recreated this special recipe recently, and we greatly enjoyed it with friends. I used Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken recipe as a base and adapted to my Turkish style roast with our additions. Towards to end of the roasting, we traditionally glaze the chicken with a mixture of tomato paste, yoghurt and olive oil; this gives a lovely colour and taste to the chicken. The rice that we use to stuff the chicken is partially cooked – you can prep this ahead of time.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish style roast chicken
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the roast chicken:
  • 1.9kg/4lb 5oz free range chicken
  • 650g/1lb 6oz carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 60ml/4tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
  • For the 2nd stage chicken marinade:
  • 10ml/2tsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 15ml/1tbsp whole milk yoghurt
  • 15ml/1tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Rice pilaf with chestnuts, pine nuts and currants:
  • 170g/6oz cooked chestnuts, chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon butter
  • 30ml/2 tablespoons currants
  • 45ml/3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 10ml/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (add a little more if you like cinnamon)
  • 350g/12oz long grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 750ml/1¼ pints hot water (500ml hot water for partial cooking first)
  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Wedges of lemon to serve
  • For the roast potatoes:
  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz Maris Piper potatoes
  • 45ml/3tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First prepare your fragrant rice. We will be partially cooking the rice to stuff into the chicken. Soak the currants in warm water for about 15 minutes. Then drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter and the olive oil in a heavy, medium size pan over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the currants, cinnamon and the rinsed rice, combine well for a minute. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Pour in the 500ml hot water and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 7- 8 minutes or until all the liquid have been absorbed. Our partially cooked rice with currants is ready. You can make your partially cooked rice a day ahead of time and keep covered in the fridge.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and bring to the room temperature. Preheat the fan oven to 200C/400F.
  4. Wash and coarsely chop the vegetables, there is no need to peel the carrots. Break the garlic bulb into cloves and leave them unpeeled. Spread the prepared vegetables on a large bowl, drizzle 30ml/2tbsp olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper and sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Rub and combine all with the vegetables. Leave this bowl aside – to be combined with the chicken later.
  5. Place the chicken on a large roasting tray. Drizzle the chicken with 30ml/2tbsp olive oil and season well with sea salt and ground black pepper and rub all round the bird.
  6. Place half of the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity. Then carefully spoon 270g/9oz of partially cooked rice inside the chicken’s cavity. Take care not to over stuff, so the rice won’t get mushy. Insert the other half of the lemon to close chicken’s cavity. Roast for 1 hour at preheated fan oven at 200C/400F.
  7. Now is the time to prepare your roast potatoes, if you plan to have them. Make sure to get them into the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Peel the potatoes and quarter the large ones and cut the medium ones in half, so they are all roughly even size. Place them on a large pot, sprinkle over salt. Cover with hot water and par boil for 7 -8 minutes. Then drain in a colander and leave to steal dry for 2 -3 minutes.
  8. After 1 hour of roasting, take the chicken out of the oven and spread your prepared vegetables around the chicken to roast together another 30 minutes.
  9. Place the potatoes into a large tray, drizzle with 45ml/3tbsp olive oil and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Coat and combine well and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, timing with the roast chicken.
  10. Now prepare your Turkish style marinade to coat the chicken, for the 2nd stage of marinade; in a small bowl, combine 2 tsp tomato paste, 1tbsp olive oil and 1tbsp whole milk yoghurt, season with sea salt and black pepper, combine well. After the 1 hour 30 minutes of chicken being roasted, take the chicken tray out and brush this marinade all over the chicken. Return the chicken tray back to the oven for a further 15 minutes of roasting; by the end of this period, the vegetables around the chicken should be nicely roasted and the marinate will give a lovely colour to the chicken, as well as taste. When the chicken is cooked (to check, cut into the chicken; if the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked) take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 10 minutes or so. Cover the chicken and roasted vegetables with foil to keep warm.
  11. While the chicken is in the oven for the final stage, finish your partially cooked festive rice. On a medium to large pot, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and stir in the pine nuts; stir and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat - as they begin to turn golden, stir in the chopped chestnuts and partially cooked rice and combine well. Pour in the remaining 250ml / 9fl oz hot water over, season with salt and black pepper, combine well. Then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently 5-6 minutes or until all the liquid have been absorbed. Turn off the heat; cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and place the lid back on tightly. Leave to steam for 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the chopped parsley and dill and combine gently.
  12. Place your festive Ic Pilav on a large serving plate, and your roast potatoes on another serving place. Serve your Turkish style roast, Firin Tavuk, with vegetables around. Muhammara, my mother’s walnut and red pepper paste dip, as well as zingy Shepherd Salad always accompanied our roast, if you like to include at your festive table too.
 

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Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi

Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi

We greatly enjoy this delicious southern Turkish style Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi, especially popular in Gaziantep region in Turkey.  We adore aubergine / eggplant/patlican in Turkey; one can safely say, it is our national vegetable, with over 200 recipes featuring aubergine in Turkish cuisine. Its meaty, melt in the mouth texture and naturally sweet flesh is simply fantastic here, cooked with meatballs, tomatoes and peppers. Please use long and slim variety of the purple aubergines, eggplants for this kebab.

I love the ease of this all in one bake dish. Please make sure to sprinkle salt over the aubergine slices and squeeze out their excess moisture with a paper towel. Then simply coat olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine slices. There is no need to sauté or fry the aubergine slices and the meatballs before baking. They bake all together very well, infusing their flavour to one another. You can prep this dish ahead of time and freeze leftovers successfully.

Baked Turkish meatballs casserole from Ozlem’s Turkish Table, image by Sian Irvine Food Photography

The meatballs in this recipe is based on my Turkish baked meatballs with vegetables, Firinda Sebzeli Kofte recipe, from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, another version of this delicious all in one bake.

Signed hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table are available at this link;  I am delighted to share that there is now significantly reduced shipping rates of hardback Ozlem’s Turkish Table to the USA via GB Publishing, at this link too.

You can serve this dish with plain pilaf rice and cooling Cacik dip of cucumber and yoghurt aside.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 2 reviews
Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi
 
We greatly enjoy this delicious southern Turkish style Baked Aubergine Kebab with Meatballs – Firinda Patlican Kebabi, especially popular in Gaziantep region in Turkey. I love the ease of this all in one bake dish. Please make sure to sprinkle salt over the aubergine slices and squeeze out their excess moisture with a paper towel. Then simply coat olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine slices. There is no need to sauté or fry the aubergine slices and the meatballs before baking. They bake all together very well, infusing their flavour to one another. You can prep this dish ahead of time and freeze leftovers successfully.
Author:
Recipe type: Aubergine/eggplant and meatballs bake
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the kofte (meatballs):
  • 450g/1lb minced/ground lamb, beef or mixture
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 60g/2oz stale bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small bunch finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bowl of water for kneading kofte and getting your hands wet
  • And the rest:
  • 2 medium and long (or 3, if smaller) aubergines / eggplants
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and sliced in chunky wedges
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 45ml / 3tbsp olive oil (to coat the aubergine slices)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the sauce:
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml/7fl oz warm water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
  2. First prepare your meatball mixture. Discard the crusts of the bread, soak in the water and squeeze dry. Then crumble them into a large bowl. Add all the kofte, meatballs ingredients except the ground/minced meat and knead well. This will soften the onions and enable the spices to blend in the mixture evenly. Add the minced/ground meat and knead well again until the mixture resembles a soft dough. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Slice the aubergines/eggplants into about 1.5cm / 0.6in circles and spread over a large tray. Sprinkle some salt over them and leave for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze out their excess moisture with paper towel. Place them back on a clean large tray.
  4. Drizzle 45ml / 3tbsp olive oil over the aubergine/eggplant slices. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, gently rub the olive oil and seasoning over the aubergine/eggplant slices.
  5. Now, shape your meatballs. Have a bowl of cold water near you. With damp hands, take a piece the size of a large walnut and roll into a round meatball, as large as your aubergine/eggplant slices, and slightly flatten. Place them on large dish or a tray side by side.
  6. Have a round baking dish with 25cm/10in diameter near you (a 25cmx25cm square baking dish would work well too). Place a slice of aubergine upright and place a meatball alongside. Repeating this, place all the aubergine slices and meatballs side by side, quite tightly, so they can stay upright.
  7. Gently tuck in the coarsely sliced bell peppers around the aubergine slices and meatballs. Place the tomato slices around the middle part of your round baking dish, in between aubergine and meatball layers, or if you are using a square baking dish, in between layers.
  8. For the sauce; combine the finely chopped garlic, 200ml/7fl oz warm water, 2tbsp tomato paste and 2tbsp olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and ground black pepper and combine well.
  9. Pour the sauce over the prepared aubergine, meatballs and vegetables. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Then take the cover off, gently spoon the sauce in the baking dish over the aubergine and meatballs and bake further 20 – 25 minutes, until the meatballs and vegetables cooked and slightly charred.
  11. Drizzle the sauce from the baking the dish over the aubergine and meatballs again. Serve with plain pilaf rice and cooling Cacik dip of cucumber and yoghurt aside.
 

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Turkish Shortbread Cookies with Pistachio – Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi

Turkish shortbread cookies with pistachio, Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi

This delicious, crumbly shortbread cookies, un kurabiyesi, is a national favouite; my mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings, bayrams and special occasions when I was a child. You will find them in our pastanes, patisseries in plain, with almond or sometimes with dried fruits in Turkey. They are delicious, enjoyed with Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi and tea, cay.

I added coarsely ground (or very finely chopped) pistachios to mine – it is nice to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios, so take care not to ground them too finely. Turkish pistachios, as referred as green emeralds are packed with flavour and we use nuts liberally in our desserts and sweet treats. They add a delicious, fragrant nutty taste. You can use ground almonds or hazelnuts instead of pistachio too. These fistikli un kurabiyesi is a great hit with my family and friends; I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Turkish Shortbread Cookies with Pistachio – Fistikli Un Kurabiyesi
 
This delicious, crumbly shortbread cookies, un kurabiyesi, is a national favouite; my mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings, bayrams and special occasions when I was a child. You will find them in our pastanes, patisseries in plain, with almond or sometimes with dried fruits in Turkey. They are delicious, enjoyed with Turkish coffee and tea.
Author:
Recipe type: Shortbread Cookies - Un Kurabiyesi
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 300g/10 ¼ oz plain all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 110g/4oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 90g/3 ¼ oz shelled pistachios, coarsely ground or very finely chopped
  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 5ml/1tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Extra icing sugar for dusting
  • Sprinkle of extra coarsely ground pistachio for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Coarsely ground the pistachios, with a few pulses in a food processor; take care not to ground too finely, as it’s lovely to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios.
  3. Sift the flour into a large bowl and set aside. Sift the icing sugar in a separate bowl too.
  4. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and coarsely slice. Beat using a mixer for 2 – 3 minutes, until smooth and light. Stir in the icing sugar and beat for another 2 minutes, until well combined.
  5. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes, making sure all combined well.
  6. Stir in the coarsely ground pistachio to the mix, beat another minute or two, until all combined and turned into a crumbly dough.
  7. Using your hands, gently combine and turn the mixture into a dough ball. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge for 10 minutes. This helps shaping and forming the shortbread cookie balls.
  8. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  9. Take the dough out of the fridge and pull off walnut sized pieces of dough and gently shape into balls, rolling the dough into round shape with your hands. Each dough ball will be about 3cm / 1.2in in diameter. Place the dough balls on the baking tray, with about 5cm/2in between each dough ball. You will make about 18 dough balls.
  10. Bake the Turkish shortbread cookies, un kurabiyes, in the preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, they will be pale golden; try not to overbake, so that they can retain their crumbly texture.
  11. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool completely. Once cool, sift icing sugar over them and sprinkle a little ground pistachio over when serving. They are delicious aside tea and Turkish coffee. They can be stored in a container with a lid for a good 5-6 days.
  12. Afiyet Olsun.
 

Hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table in the USA- with reduced shipping rates!-

We are delighted to share that we now have significantly reduced shipping rates to the USA (approximately 14 USD), for the hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table, you can order via GB Publishing, at this link.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table and the apron also available at this link.

Our best wishes and Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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