اَعُوْذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْمِ
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمن الرَّحِيْمِ

Turkish Chicken Wings

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5 from 7 votes
Crispy wings bursting with flavour and baked to perfection make these chicken wings recipe a delicious appetiser. A delicious and easy alternative to traditional chicken wing recipes.
Turkish Wings

Welcome to a culinary adventure like no other, where we explore the enchanting world of Turkish chicken wings. Close your eyes and imagine the bustling streets of Istanbul, where East meets West in a vibrant fusion of flavours. Turkish cuisine, steeped in tradition and history, brings forth a dish that is both simple and exquisite: Turkish chicken cings.

This recipe takes humble chicken wings and transforms them into a symphony of taste, combining spices, yoghurt, and culinary finesse to create a dish that’s a true masterpiece. Today, we’ll embark on a journey to discover the origin of this delightful dish, explore the magic of its ingredients, delve into serving suggestions, and uncover tips and tricks to make your Turkish chicken wings the talk of the town.

Origin of Turkish Chicken Wings

To truly appreciate Turkish chicken wings, we must first understand their roots. Turkey, a country straddling two continents, Europe and Asia, has a culinary heritage that reflects its diverse history. Over centuries, trade routes and cultural exchanges have enriched Turkish cuisine, and Turkish Chicken Wings are a testament to this culinary fusion.

Inspired by the principles of simplicity and respect for ingredients, Turkish cuisine has a knack for allowing each flavor to shine. Our Turkish Chicken Wings recipe is no exception; it embodies the essence of Turkish cooking, where even the most humble ingredients are elevated to new heights of flavour.

The Ingredients and Their Significance

Now, let’s delve into the heart of our Turkish chicken wings – the ingredients. Each element plays a crucial role in creating a harmonious explosion of flavours. Let’s take a closer look at the cast of characters:

  • Chicken Wings: These succulent morsels provide the perfect balance of meat, fat, and skin, promising a crispy exterior and tender, juicy meat inside. While wings are the classic choice, you can explore variations with drumsticks or boneless chicken for equally delightful results.
  • Yoghurt: Yoghurt is the star tenderiser in our marinade, ensuring our chicken remains moist and tender. Its creamy texture forms the base for the marinade, creating a rich and velvety coating.
  • Sumac: This tangy spice adds a bright, citrusy note to our wings, giving them a unique and refreshing character. If sumac is elusive, lemon zest can step in to provide that zesty punch.
  • Salt: The cornerstone of any dish, salt enhances flavours and aids in the marination process. For those watching their sodium intake, low-sodium alternatives can be used.
  • Chilli Flakes: Adding a pop of heat, crushed chillies elevate the savoury notes of the wings. For a milder taste, sweet paprika can be a worthy substitute.
  • Hot Pepper Paste (Biber Salçasi): This ingredient imparts a smoky, spicy depth to our wings. If unavailable, a mixture of tomato paste and chilli powder can provide a similar depth of flavour.
  • Cumin Powder: Cumin’s earthy, warm flavour complements the heat of the chillies. In a pinch, coriander can stand in as a worthy substitute.
  • Olive Oil: Our unsung hero, olive oil, ensures an even distribution of flavours and adds a subtle richness to the wings. Canola or sunflower oil can be suitable alternatives if you prefer a more neutral flavour.
  • Garlic Paste: This ingredient brings a pungent kick and depth to the wings. If you’re not a fan of garlic, onion paste can provide an excellent alternative.
  • Paprika: With its sweet and spicy flavour, paprika not only adds depth but also imparts a beautiful red hue to the wings. Cayenne pepper can serve as an alternative, but exercise caution, as it’s spicier.

As we unravel the significance of each ingredient, it becomes clear that they work together in a harmonious culinary dance, contributing to the irresistible appeal of our Turkish Chicken Wings.

The Marination Process: Infusing Flavor and Tenderness

Now that we’ve met the cast of ingredients, let’s dive into the essential step that brings our Turkish chicken wings to life: the marination process. This is where the magic happens, as our chicken wings soak in the vibrant flavors of the spice mixture, ensuring that every bite is a tantalising journey to flavour town.

The marination process is not to be rushed. It’s a pivotal step that infuses our wings with the intricate blend of spices, making them tender and bursting with flavor. Ideally, allow your wings to marinate for at least an hour, but for the most exquisite results, marinating overnight is recommended. This extended marination ensures maximum flavour and juicy chicken, transforming a simple dish into a culinary masterpiece.

The Unique Twist in Turkish Chicken Wings

So, what sets Turkish chicken wings apart from their global counterparts? While many chicken wing recipes share common ingredients, it’s the unique combination of flavors and techniques that define the Turkish twist.

The symphony begins with a trifecta of Turkish spices: sumac, hot pepper paste, and crushed chillies. Sumac brings a tart, lemony overtone, adding freshness and vibrancy to the dish. The hot pepper paste and crushed chillies contribute smoky heat, beautifully complementing the earthy warmth of cumin.

However, the true secret lies in the yoghurt marination. In Turkish cuisine, yoghurt is not merely a flavor component but a powerful tenderizer. By marinating the chicken wings in this yoghurt-spice mix, we ensure they become tender and juicy while absorbing all the delightful flavours. The result? A crispy exterior enveloping succulent meat, each bite a testament to Turkish culinary brilliance.

Substituting Chicken Wings in the Turkish Delight

But what if you don’t have chicken wings on hand, or perhaps you prefer a different cut of meat? The beauty of the Turkish chicken wings recipe is its versatility.

If you’re a fan of meaty bites, chicken drumsticks are a fantastic substitute. They provide a similar texture to wings and their larger size makes them great for serving as a main dish.

Boneless chicken thighs or breasts are another excellent choice. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the chicken remains juicy and tender.

For those looking to reduce meat consumption, cauliflower is a delightful option. When roasted, cauliflower develops a caramelised exterior and a meaty texture. The florets eagerly soak up the marinade, ensuring each bite bursts with flavour.

Regardless of your choice, the essence of the recipe—the rich, vibrant marinade—remains the heart and soul of the dish. Thus, even with substitutions, you’ll still be able to experience the exotic charm of Turkish chicken wings. In the end, it’s all about savouring those delectable Turkish flavours!

Mastering the Crispy and Juicy Turkish Chicken Wings

The holy grail of chicken wings is achieving that perfect balance between crispy skin and juicy meat. Wondering how to attain this culinary nirvana with Turkish chicken wings? Let’s break it down.

Achieving this delightful duality involves two key steps: the marination process and the baking technique. First, our marinade, a savory concoction of yoghurt, spices, and herbs, is pivotal in ensuring juicy meat.

Yoghurt, owing to its acidity, tenderises the chicken, ensuring it remains moist during cooking. It’s crucial to marinate the wings for at least an hour, but for maximum flavour and juiciness, an overnight soak is ideal.

Now, onto the crispy skin. Our baking technique is the shining star here. Placing the marinated wings on a wire rack over a baking tray allows hot air to circulate around them, crisping them up uniformly.

Midway through the baking, we flip the wings and baste them with oil or melted butter. This not only adds an extra layer of richness but also aids in achieving a beautifully browned, crispy exterior. The result is wings with skin that’s delightfully crunchy and a center that’s tender and flavorful.

Patience is key to mastering crispy and juicy Turkish wings. Don’t rush the marinating or baking process. Follow these steps, and you’ll create wings that are an absolute delight to the senses.

Sumac Substitutions in Turkish Chicken Wings

Sumac is one of the defining elements of Turkish chicken wings, lending a unique, tangy flavour that brightens up the dish. But what if you don’t have sumac in your pantry? Fear not, as there are alternatives available.

A good substitute for sumac is lemon zest. Like sumac, lemon zest carries a tart, citrusy flavor profile that can mimic the refreshing notes sumac brings to the dish.

If using lemon zest, ensure you use organic lemons if possible and only use the yellow part of the rind, as the white pith can impart a bitter flavor.

Another possible substitute is a combination of lemon juice and paprika. Lemon juice provides the tangy punch, while paprika adds a hint of sweetness and colour, together mimicking the properties of sumac.

In the culinary world, flexibility is crucial. Whether it’s due to availability issues or personal taste preferences, adjustments can and should be made to suit your needs. Therefore, even if you have to replace sumac with an alternative, you can still create a batch of Turkish chicken wings bursting with flavor and authenticity. Always remember that cooking is about enjoyment and exploration, and don’t hesitate to make the recipe your own!

Turning Down the Heat in Turkish Chicken Wings

While many adore spicy chicken wings, it’s essential to cater to varying heat preferences. If you’re looking to tone down the spiciness of Turkish chicken wings, you’re in the right place.

Our traditional recipe includes both chilli flakes and hot pepper paste (Biber Salçasi), the two primary sources of heat. However, if you lean towards milder flavors, here’s how to adjust the heat:

  1. Reduce Chilli Flakes: You can simply reduce the amount of chilli flakes used in the recipe to decrease the heat level. Adjust to your preferred spice level.
  2. Milder Hot Pepper Paste: If you still want the depth of flavour from hot pepper paste but with less heat, look for a milder version. It’s a great compromise that retains the complexity of the ingredient.
  3. Dilution with Tomato Paste: To maintain the richness of hot pepper paste without overwhelming spiciness, consider diluting it with a bit of tomato paste. This way, you get the flavour without the full intensity of the heat.

Remember, cooking is an art of adaptation, and the beauty lies in creating dishes that suit your taste buds. So go ahead, make the Turkish chicken wings your own, and relish a dish that’s tailored to your palate!

The Magic of Biber Salçasi in Turkish Chicken Wings

Biber Salçasi, or hot pepper paste, is a star ingredient in Turkish cuisine, known for its unique combination of heat and sweetness. It plays a pivotal role in our Turkish chicken wings recipe, lending depth and character that is hard to replicate.

Produced from red chilli peppers, biber salçasi adds an exquisite base note to the dish. It marries the array of spices beautifully, harmonizing the overall flavors. The result is a symphony of taste that tantalizes the palate.

However, if you find yourself without biber salçasi, don’t fret; there are alternatives. A combination of tomato paste and cayenne pepper or a red pepper flake paste can mimic the spicy-sweet flavour profile of biber salçasi.

While these alternatives may not provide the exact taste of biber salçasi, they do get you close, offering similar notes of depth and heat. Ultimately, the aim is to enjoy the process and savor the end result, even if it requires a few adjustments along the way. After all, cooking is an exploration, a journey of flavour, and every journey is unique!

Adapting Turkish Chicken Wings for a Vegetarian Diet

The allure of Turkish Chicken Wings extends far beyond meat lovers. The enticing blend of spices, crisp exterior, and succulent interior can tempt the taste buds of vegetarians as well. So, is there a way to enjoy these savoury wings without the chicken? Absolutely!

Enter the world of meat substitutes, where ingredients like tofu, seitan, and jackfruit mimic the texture and absorption properties of chicken. Tofu, especially extra-firm tofu, can be a fantastic canvas for soaking up the marinade. Be sure to press out excess water from the tofu, allowing it to absorb the flavors effectively.

Seitan, a wheat-based protein, has a meaty texture similar to chicken and readily absorbs flavors. It’s an excellent candidate for our spicy, tangy marinade.

Finally, there’s jackfruit, which, when unripe, takes on a texture akin to pulled chicken. It, too, absorbs flavors remarkably well.

Regardless of your choice of meat substitute, marination is key. Allow them to soak in the marinade’s flavors for an adequate amount of time, ensuring each bite is as flavorful as traditional chicken wings.

In the end, it’s about crafting a meal that caters to your dietary preferences and needs without skimping on flavor. These vegetarian alternatives are a testament to the fact that you can still enjoy the sizzle of Turkish chicken wings, with no chicken required!

The Role of Olive Oil in Turkish Chicken Wings

Olive oil is the unsung hero in our Turkish chicken wings recipe. It enhances other ingredients, bringing out their best flavours while contributing its subtle, earthy undertones. It’s what makes the marinade glossy and smooth, enabling it to evenly coat the wings and seep into every crevice.

Moreover, olive oil has a relatively low smoke point, making it perfect for baking at the temperatures recommended for these wings. When brushed onto the wings before baking, it forms a seal that helps retain the chicken’s natural juices, ensuring a moist and tender result.

However, what if you run out of olive oil? Fear not, as there are alternatives. Grapeseed oil or canola oil, both with mild flavours and higher smoke points, can be used as suitable substitutes. While these oils may not provide the unique flavour profile of olive oil, they will still perform admirably in its functional role.

Remember, the best meals often result from improvisation and adaptation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what you have on hand. After all, it’s these little tweaks that make a recipe truly your own!

Serving Suggestions

Now that you’ve worked your culinary magic, it’s time to present your masterpiece. Turkish chicken wings are a versatile dish that can be served in various ways. Here are some delightful serving suggestions:

  • Traditional Mezze Spread: Arrange the wings alongside classic Turkish mezzes like hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh for a Mediterranean feast.
  • Pita Pockets: Stuff warm pita bread with the chicken wings, fresh vegetables, and a drizzle of tahini sauce for a satisfying sandwich.
  • Salad Companion: Serve the wings on a bed of crisp, leafy greens with a zesty lemon vinaigrette for a healthier option.
  • Game Day Snack: Make them the star of your next game day spread, accompanied by a cool yoghurt dip and crispy vegetable sticks.
  • Family Feast: Arrange them on a platter and watch them disappear at your next family gathering.

Check Out My Other Recipes!

If you’ve found yourself amazed by the delightful Turkish chicken wings recipe we’ve just uncovered, you’re in for a treat! As we wrap up our flavourful journey through Turkish cuisine, why not set sail on a gustatory odyssey to discover more delectable winged wonders?

First up, we have the ever-classic baked chicken wings. A healthier alternative that doesn’t skimp on flavour, these wings boast a crispy exterior that belies the tender, succulent meat within.

Now, picture this: smoky, succulent, and kissed by flames. Yes, we’re talking about BBQ chicken wings. Perfectly charred and slathered in rich barbecue sauce, these wings are a backyard barbecue dream come true.

Feeling a bit fiery? Enter the buffalo wings, the fiery stars of the American wing scene. These wings are renowned for their fiery heat and buttery-smooth finish. They come with a side of celery and blue cheese dressing, a cooling contrast to the fiery buffalo sauce. A taste explosion in every bite!

If you’re in the mood for a fusion of flavours, then turn your attention to sticky sesame chicken wings. With a harmonious blend of sweet and savoury, these wings take your palate on a whirlwind journey to the Far East. The sticky sesame glaze is an irresistible combination of sweet, salty, and nutty, making each bite an adventure in itself.

As you embark on these delicious adventures, don’t forget to rate the recipes and leave a comment to share your thoughts. Your feedback is like a gust of wind beneath the wings of fellow food enthusiasts, helping them navigate their culinary journeys with confidence.

So, whether you’re a fan of the Turkish chicken wings we’ve uncovered or you’re ready to explore the diverse world of winged wonders, remember this: there’s no end to the culinary adventures you can embark upon. Bon appétit, and may your taste buds forever be on a thrilling flight of discovery!

Turkish Wings

Turkish Chicken Wings

Crispy wings bursting with flavour and baked to perfection make these chicken wings recipe a delicious appetiser. A delicious and easy alternative to traditional chicken wing recipes.
5 from 7 votes
Sadia Halimah Aziz
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 413kcal


  • 1 kg Chicken Wings
  • 50 g Yoghurt
  • 5 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 3 tbsp Hot Pepper Paste Biber Salçasi
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika


  • In a bowl add the yoghurt, sumac, salt, crushed chillies, hot pepper paste, cumin powder, olive oil, garlic paste and paprika then mix all the ingredients together until well combined
  • Add the chicken wings and coat the wings with the marinade evenly
  • Set aside and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight for best results as this will ensure maximum flavour and juicy chicken
  • Place a single layer of the chicken wings on top of a baking tray with a wire rack
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) or gas mark 6 for 20 minutes
  • Baste with melted butter or oil then flip the wings over and bake for a further 20 minutes
  • Your Turkish chicken wings are ready!



Calories: 413kcal
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The Aziz Kitchen

Salaam and hello everyone!

I’m Sadia, the person behind The Aziz Kitchen. A 20-and-some year-old Muslim aspiring doctor and writer who loves to experiment with cooking, baking and all things food. On this blog you will find my favourite, delicious, family-friendly recipes.

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