My Chicken Kofta recipe dresses up chicken with an array of herbs and spices for a bit of bite, a hint of spice, and a ton of flavor. These baharat spiced patties can be grilled, fried, and enjoyed in so many ways. Try them out today!
Bold Middle Eastern flavors make even the plainest ingredients exciting! One great example is chicken kofta, a very popular Middle Eastern meal that’s all about the seasoning.
Ground chicken is mixed with onions, herbs, spices, and soaked pita, then grilled into patties that can be served and enjoyed in so many ways. I’ve seen them on sandwiches, kabobs, or just eaten on their own. Depending on the country you’re ordering from, you might even see it referred to as chicken kefta or chicken kafta.
In my version, I use a homemade baharat spice blend for a hint of heat and spice. A bit of mint adds a refreshing note, and some minced garlic bolsters its boldness. You get a little bit of everything in each bite!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Onion - I use red onion, which is crisp and slightly spicy. Use chives for a similar flavor, or substitute white or yellow onions.
- Chicken - You will have to use ground poultry to form the kefta. For a similar flavor and leanness, ground turkey could be used as a substitute.
- Egg - An important binding ingredient to help each patty keep its shape while grilling.
- Garlic - A can’t-miss ingredient that adds a bit of heat, mouthwatering aroma, and delicious flavor.
- Flat Leaf Parsley - Also known as Italian parsley, this herb is peppery and bright. Chervil, oregano, or tarragon are good alternative herbs to use in its place.
- Mint Leaves - A bit sweet, these also add a cooling sensation.
- Baharat Spice - Make this blend right at home! This common Middle Eastern spice mixture is both warm and smoky.
- Pita - You can also use regular sandwich bread. Toasted, torn, and dampened, we’ll add the pieces right into the kofta mixture.
- Salt & Pepper - A dash of salt and pepper makes a world of difference! Add to the mixture before grilling, then add more to taste afterward.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN KOFTA
1. Prep the Pita. Rip the pita or bread in half, then toast before lightly moistening with a few tablespoons of water. Give it a few minutes to soak in and then squeeze to remove leftover water. Put the moistened bread in a large mixing bowl.
2. Grate the Onion. After, use a towel to press out any excess liquid. Dispose of the liquid and add the grated onion to the mixing bowl.
3. Mix All Together. Now add the ground meat, egg, garlic, parsley, mint, baharat spices, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the bread and onion. Mix by hand until well combined.
4. Make the Patties. With damp hands, form 12-16 sausage or oval shaped patties out of the seasoned mixture. Each one should be approximately 1” to 1½” thick.
5. Chill and Preheat. Place your formed chicken kofta on a lined tray and stick the tray in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to 450°F.
6. Time to Grill! Prepare your grill by greasing with a bit of oil. Once it comes to temperature, grill the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side. Repeat until all are cooked through and ready to serve! You could also pan fry in a skillet.
What should I serve with chicken kafta?
There are a ton of ways to enjoy this delicious Middle Eastern meal! Present these patties with creamy hummus, a refreshing shirazi salad, or even a simple spritz of lemon juice from a few slices served on the side.
Can I pan fry chicken kefta?
Absolutely! Make the patties a bit larger if you’re going to fry them in a pan. I recommend making 1” x 3” rolls.
Of course, grilling is a healthier alternative because it doesn’t involve as much oil — just enough to prepare the grill and keep the meat from sticking.
Why aren’t my chicken kofta patties sticking together?
Depending on how dry or wet your ingredients are overall, the mixture might be too loose and your patties might fall apart. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs to soak up excess moisture, or add a splash of water if it’s too crumbly.
What is chicken kofta made of?
These patties are a mixture of pita, chicken, onions, and various herbs and spices. In this recipe, I use a delicious baharat spice blend that is pleasantly smoky and spicy.
Baharat Spiced Chicken Kofta
- Tear pita in half and toast until golden brown (or slice of bread). Moisten the bread with a few tablespoons of water and let sit for a few minutes. Squeeze any excess water from bread and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile grate the onion over a kitchen towel and squeeze excess water to remove and discard. Add onion to the bowl with bread.
- To the bowl add the ground chicken, egg, garlic, parsley, mint, baharat spices, salt and pepper. Using clean hands, swirl with fingers to mix until thoroughly combined.
- Wet your hands with a little water and form the chicken mixture into 12-16 oval patties about 1 to 1 ½-inch in thickness (See Notes 1 and 2). Arrange the kofta on a lined tray and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up while you clean and preheat the grill to 450°F.
- Grease indoor griddle pan or the grates of a gas grill with a little oil. Place the kofta on the griddle pan or grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side until fully cooked through.
- If mixture is too loose and doesn't form patties well, add 1-2 tablespoons breadcrumbs to chicken mixture.
- If pan frying, I form into 1x3 inch rolls and if grilling, form into larger oval patties and slightly flatten to 1 to 1 ½-inch in thickness.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.