Tried something new…Iskender Chicken!!

Have been out of action again for a while, only because I hadn’t had the time or energy to try some thing new and inspiring. Now, however, I have done just that! Iskender chicken, a Turkish delicacy that I discovered almost by chance! What seems like ages ago I used to live in New York. While there, I had to plan a dinner with a fellow Muslim friend so I was on the lookout for a halal resturant. As it turned out my search turned up the name of a Turkish resturant that was only a block away from my workplace and two blocks away from the hotel where my friend was staying. She was flying in from Los Angeles. 

Long story short…we booked a table. When we got there the place just enveloped us with the strong aroma of warm naan bread being baked and lovely spices being cooked close by. After a thorough reading of the menu I settled on getting Iskender Chicken, a delicate blend of tomato purée with cumin cooked with boneless chicken pieces and served over warm naan that was cut into small pieces and smothered with butter! Need I say more? Everything tastes better with butter, said Julia Childs and I agree whole heartedly! 

I am always amazed by the fact that using familiar ingredients in a slightly different way yields something very very extraordinary and makes for a wonderful and appetising meal. As is the case with this recipe. It blends together the most basic ingredients that you are almost 100% likely to have at hand which makes, for me at least, a breeze to cook. Another compliment. For this recipe that it is surprisingly just too easy. You won’t believe your tastebuds when you are gorging your way through spoonful after spoonful of this soul satisfying dish. My compliments to the Turkish cuisine that came up with this amazing recipe. My family surely enjoyed it and were very happy campers! Do try your hand at this and you’ll be thanking me also 😉 

Happy cooking everyone! It feels good to be back 🙂

  • 4 pita bread rounds 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can tomato puree 
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin, or to taste 
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste 
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste 
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted 
  • 1 cup yogurt, lightly whipped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Arrange pita bread on a baking sheet, and lightly toast in the oven. Cut pita bread into bite-size pieces, and keep warm.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, onion, and garlic, and cook until chicken juices run clear. Mix in tomato puree. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking 10 minutes.
  3. Arrange pita pieces in a serving dish. Drizzle with butter, and top with the chicken mixture. Garnish with yogurt and parsley to serve.

Enjoy a warm and delicious dinner with family and friends and this crowd pleaser of a recipe. See you sooner rather than later 🙂

P.S. I forgot that I had pictures of the dish before garnishing it with the yogurt. You can see the pita bread peaking from underneath the chicken. Hope you like them.   




10 Comments Add yours

  1. hiba bakhteyar says:

    Yum. I had this when we went to turkey. They served it in a sizzling cast iron pot and it was delicious. Cant wait to try it

    1. Nida Sami says:

      Please do try it and share your experience with me too. It is my absolute favourite Turkish dish!

  2. MSMIRZA says:

    Lovely, marvelous, beautiful, presentation with delightful delicious rich taste, not only for you but for all of us. Highly recommended for every good healthy food eating lover to give a try and taste and report back to the source. Those who create delicious dishes and eat good food prefer to offer good food to their guest who appreciate.

    1. Nida Sami says:

      Thank you Abu! Can’t wait to make it especially for you to taste when you visit me 🙂 Love you loads!

  3. Sophia says:

    Looks delicious! And amazingly I have all the ingredients, and like always, had no idea what to cook today. So will be making this for tonight…. thank you 🙂

    1. Nida Sami says:

      Thank you for your comment. Sounds great! Please do share how it turns out for you! I hope you and your family have a wonderful meal 🙂

  4. Sophia says:

    Quick question : did you use regular yogurt or greek yogurt?

    1. Nida Sami says:

      I used regular (low-fat) yogurt but the recipes online call for Greek yogurt. I think both of them will compliment the dish. If you do use Greek yogurt please tell me how it works out.

  5. Sana Siddiqui says:

    Such a mouth watering dish!! Can’t wait to try it over the weekend. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe Nida baji 😊

    1. Nida Sami says:

      You are most welcome. Please do let me know how it turns out for you. Hope you enjoy it with family and friends.

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