Chicken Tava, also known as "tavuk tava" in Turkish, is an aromatic dish made with marinated chicken pieces mixed with various vegetables and herbs, and baked to perfection in the oven. This Turkish chicken dish is so flavorful that is best eaten with flatbread.
In Turkey, chicken Tava is a popular staple dish among locals, which is also found in local restaurants and street food stalls. That is because it has a strong aroma, tender chicken, and the combination of different vegetables that add the texture and freshness to the dish.
The word "Tavuk" means chicken in Turkish which reflects the cooking method where the marinated chicken and vegetables are cooked together producing a flavorful dish. On the other hand, the word "Tava" means cooking in a metal baking tray or pan which is traditionally used in Turkish cuisines.
Turkish food is one of my favorite Mediterranean cuisines since they are similar to Middle Eastern and it is halal-friendly. In this post, I made my version of the Turkish Chicken Tava recipe which is easy to make but delicious & aromatic.
Here are the ingredient to make this delicious Tavuk Tava:
Chicken: I am using boneless chicken breast which I cut into pieces. I prefer this type of chicken because they are lean, and tender, and cooks relatively faster.
Bell Pepper: I am using green bell pepper since they add flavor to the chicken, and add vibrant color to the dish.
Potatoes: To add vegetables, I included potatoes since they are a healthy carb and serve as an add-on vegetable to the dish
Herbs / Spices: I am using cumin since they add a nutty flavor, paprika for a sweet & smoky flavor & making the dish red, and thyme to add aromatic flavor to the chicken.
Garlic & Onion: They are important since it enhances the flavor of the chicken and the vegetable
Tomatoes & Tomato Paste: The tomatoes add a tanginess and mild sweetness to my chicken tava, while the tomato paste adds a vibrant red color to my dish
Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is one of the most important ingredients of this dish since it enhances the flavor, contributes a moist texture, and tenderize the chicken.
Butter: Now this is optional, but I sometimes add salted butter to my dish to help moisten the chicken and vegetables.
Step by Step Instruction
Here are the instruction to make this delicious Turkish chicken Tava:
- In a metal baking tray, I add the cut tomatoes, potatoes, bell pepper, and onion. You don't have to chop them.
- In a separate plate or bowl, I combine the cut chicken breast with garlic, cumin, thyme, and paprika. I set aside some garlic for the next step.
- Returning to the metal baking tray, I add the tomato paste, remaining garlic, and the spiced-infused chicken, gently combining them.
- If desired, adjust the redness by adding more tomato paste or paprika, and season with salt and black pepper
- Now this is optional but place a rectangular-cut butter piece in the center.
- Now in this part, I covered it with foil so the chicken and its juice will not dry out.
- Preheat the baking oven to 200 C or 400 F, and I placed the baking tray in the oven. Let it bake for 30 minutes.
- After removing the foil, I place the baking tray back in the oven and broil it for an additional 5-10 minutes. Broiling will give a browned and slightly crispy texture to the chicken and some of the vegetables, adding an extra layer of flavor and visual appeal to the dish.
- Lastly served it with flatbread, fries, or salad. Enjoy!
Tips and Hints
- For stronger flavor, marinate the chicken for at least 2-3 hours or overnight if possible.
- You can use Romano pepper instead of bell pepper since they taste sweeter and has thinner skin.
- If you want to add spicy, you can use red chili powder or Aleppo pepper.
- Make sure you thinly cut the potatoes so they can be cooked thoroughly.
- Baking in the oven at 200 C for 30 minutes will help keep the chicken tender and moist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! You can use these type of chickens since they are juicy, but you may need to bake it longer since they take longer to cook.
There are two ways to prevent this:
The first method is covering it with foil, which helps retain moisture during baking. The second method is baking it at a temperature range of 190 to 200 degrees Celsius, which helps ensure that the chicken cooks evenly without becoming overly dry
If in the refrigerators, it can last for up to 5 days. However, for freezer, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag, and store it for up to 3 months. Before serving, make sure you thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.
📋 Recipe Card
Chicken Tava (Tavuk Tava)
- 1 Metal Baking Pan
- 600 Grams Boneless chicken breast, cut into 2 inches square
- 2 Large Tomatoes, cut into pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Large Red Onion, cut into small pieces
- 6 Cloves Garlic, grated
- 1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, cut into 2 inches size
- 1 Large Potatoes, cut into 2 inches square shape
- 6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon Salted Butter (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Add cut tomatoes, potatoes, bell pepper and onion in a metal baking pan.
- In a separate plate bowl, combine the cut boneless chicken breast with cumin. thyme, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of grated garlic, and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Set it aside.
- Returning to the metal baking tray, add the tomato paste, remaining garlic, paprika and the spiced-infused chicken, gently combining them together
- Pour the remaining extra virgin olive oil on the tray. Mix to combine. Place the chicken above to prevent overcooking the vegetables.
- Season it with salt and black pepper. If desired, adjust the redness by adding more tomato paste or paprika.
- Place a tablespoon of rectangular-cut butter piece in the center (Optional).
- Covered it with foil so the chicken and it's juice will not dry out.
- Preheat the oven in 200 C or 400 F. Placed the baking pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and place the baking tray back in the oven and broil it for an additional 5-10 minutes to browned the chicken and some of the vegetables.
- Once done, served it with other Turkish side dishes like salad, fries and pita bread. Enjoy!
- If you like it spicy, add red chili paste or any chili powder
- You can Romano pepper for sweeter flavor instead of green bell pepper.