This one-pot Turkish chicken is a 30-minute meal full of protein, vegetables, and everything you need to fuel your body. It’s a simple recipe that’s seasoned with warm Turkish spices, baked golden brown with tender, chewy bulgur wheat, and finally topped with tangy feta and fresh herbs!
My Turkish chicken recipe takes something we’re all familiar with — juicy, mouthwatering baked chicken — and hopefully introduces a few new Middle Eastern flavors and ingredients!
To start, chicken thighs are quickly seared and then baked. With this method, and with a bit of broth, the meat stays succulent and moist.
I finish off this recipe by baking the spinach, bulgur wheat, and juicy thighs in chicken stock into a sort of soft, golden pilaf. I chose bulgur specifically because it’s pleasantly chewy, like quinoa or couscous, and because it does a great job of picking up other seasonings.
Table of Contents
- Chicken – My first cut of choice for this Turkish chicken recipe is the thigh. But as long as it’s boneless and skinless, you can choose any cut without making any changes to the recipe.
- Bulgur Wheat – This is a fiber-rich, whole-grain wheat. It’s easy to cook and versatile, but it can be tricky to find. Try couscous, brown rice, or orzo if you need a substitute.
- Feta Cheese – A smooth, tangy cheese is the best topping for Turkish chicken. In addition to feta, you could try goat cheese or — to remain traditionally Turkish — Kars Gruyere.
- Turkish Spice Blend – This warm, earthy combination of common spices is perfect for meat recipes. I always prefer freshly grinding and blending my own, but you can also find it in the grocery store.
- Red Onion – White onion, yellow onion, and shallots are the best alternatives. Whichever you choose, slice it very thin.
- Spinach – If using frozen, first thaw and squeeze out the excess water.
- Cherry Tomatoes – There’s nothing like baking whole tomatoes for mouthfuls of warm, juicy flavor. If you can’t find cherry, use grape tomatoes instead.
What is Turkish Spice?
Turkish spice blend is a warm and earthy seasoning mix rich with cumin and Middle Eastern Spices. It’s great on roasted meats or as a dry rub. I make my own blend which is made of cumin, black pepper, oregano, bay leaves, sumac, paprika, cayenne and sesame seeds. You can find the recipe here on the site!
- Preheat. Set your oven to 400°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sauté Chicken. Season the meat with the Turkish spices and add to the skillet. Brown for 3 minutes on each side and then set aside — it will finish baking in the oven.
- Sweat Onion & Garlic. Pour the rest of the olive oil into the same skillet. Now, add the onion and garlic and stir, sautéeing for 5 minutes until aromatic.
- Add Bulgar & Season. Stir bulgur and oregano into the skillet and cook for a few minutes. Follow with the spinach and tomatoes, again stirring to mix. Cook for another 2 minutes until the spinach wilts and the tomatoes begin to soften and break down.
- Add Stock & Bake. Pour the stock into the skillet and stir. Return the Turkish chicken to the skillet, then press it gently into the spinach and bulgur mixture. Cover the skillet, transfer it to the oven, and bake for 15 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F.
- Garnish & Serve. Let the cooked chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before plating and topping with the feta cheese and parsley.
- Cast Iron Skillet – A good, oven-proof skillet is the key to a whole world of one-skillet recipes — you can go right from the stovetop to the oven to the kitchen table with no problem!
Storing and Reheating
Place all leftover chicken, spinach, and sauce in the same airtight container for storage — it’s the best way to keep the meat moist. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the skillet or a baking dish, veggies and all, in an oven around 350°F. Add a little more stock to keep it moist, and cook only until warmed through. Add fresh cheese and parsley to serve.
No. Bulgur is actually pre-cooked and is a quick-cooking grain.
As a result, there is no need for soaking or any preparation prior to cooking. Using it in fresh recipes, like salads, is another story — but as long as it will be baked or sauteed before serving, you can throw it into the pan as-is.
I prefer baking thighs. Thighs are fattier and remain moist and juicy, even after prolonged baking. They also contain dark meat, which is so flavorful!
Breast meat is also good for baking because of its consistent size, meaning you’re less likely to experience inconsistent cooking throughout the cut. However, it will both cook and dry out faster than thighs. Start checking its internal temperature closer to 10 or 12 minutes to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
No marinating is necessary for this Turkish chicken recipe. The spice blend is applied as a sort of dry rub, and it can be applied right before baking. You can season the chicken beforehand with no repercussions, but it won’t really increase the flavor or moisture.
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Turkish Chicken with Bulgur and Feta
- 1 1/2 lb chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 2 tbsp Turkish Spice Blend divided
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 medium red onion sliced thin
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 lb spinach leaves
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes mixed
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- parsley optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Season both sides of the chicken and saute in deep ovenproof skillet with one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook for 3 minutes per side and golden brown. Set aside (chicken will finish cooking when baked).
- Add remaining olive oil to skillet and saute the red onion and garlic until golden and wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bulgar and oregano to skillet, stir to mix, cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes, stirring to mix thoroughly, and cook another 2 minutes. Spinach should have wilted and tomatoes start to break down.
- Add the chicken stock and stir. Nestle the chicken on top of the bulgar spinach mixture and press down gently.
- Cover with lid and transfer skillet to oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Check to be sure chicken internal temp should be 165°F.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with feta cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.