Turkish Chicken Pide
Turkish Pide are “bread boats” made with an easy to prep dough. These are filled with creamy goats cheese and mozzarella, shredded oven baked chicken breast, onions, peppers, and the most enticing Turkish spice mix, including paprika, red pepper flakes, sumac, and oregano.Jump to Recipe
The Turk’s Menu
Since my boyfriend and I started our life together on the second floor of this very old house on a hill in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, we have dreamed of bringing our backgrounds and food memories to life.
Our intention, long after this pandemic is past, has found its way into my food notebooks, consisting of scribbled down lists, variations, drawings, logos, and ideas for Croatian-Turkish comfort food. My best friend down south referred to us on a Christmas card envelope as “Mimi and the Turk.” Mimi comes from my childhood nickname, and the fact that his name is John, which is the name of both my father and brother, so I lovingly referred to him as “The Turk,” alluding to his Turkish American background.
In addition to my overdose of Croatian and old world baking, the Turk in the Croatian Turkish comfort foods has shared the beauty that is Turkish Pide with me and here we are.
Pide, as far as the Turks go, is a flatbread traditionally cooked in a clay or stone oven. The traditional toppings include the sausage staple sucuk–SOO Jook–and mozzarella cheese, referred to as Kashar cheese. I made a similar “Turkish pizza” called Lacmacun recently with ground beef. The crispier thin crust of the Lacmacun is a completely different, yet equally taste worthy experience.
The best part of Pide is that the dough borders are folded over slightly all around the center, and the two ends are twisted together, forming a boat shape. I think it looks like a big, delicious evil eye staring up at me through its textures and flavors saying, “dont be afraid. Eat. Eat!” I accept the challenge.
This pide created by Mimi and the Turk is not your typical pide. Wanting to involve chicken lightens the load a bit, and we wanted to allow the spice and simplest of ingredients to shine: cheese, onions. peppers. He decided on hand pulled, or shredded chicken. White meat. Cooked bone-in for flavor.
It was the absolute best choice. I was able to infuse some spice to the meat and skin, which we also shredded, like paprika, sumac, oregano…and the meat is easy to distribute and even easier to eat. A beautiful choice indeed.
Step by Step
A few things learned along the way when you decide to have Turkish Chicken Pide for your next meal:
- When baking the chicken, try to use a roasting pan with a rack or some kind of rack to separate the chicken from the bottom surface, so the drippings escape and the juiciness remains.
- Use the skin! As long as the chicken breasts are cooled down a bit, you can easily shred the meat, along with the roasted skin, and include both in the pide toppings.
- If lifting the filled pide to the baking sheet gives your anxiety, feel free to flour a piece of parchment paper and roll them out there, so, once complete, you can just lift the whole thing and slide it onto the baking sheet. I took a chance, and it worked, but do whatever makes you feel the most at ease.
- You can play with the toppings, and have fun with it. Turkish street food is not an exact science. I trust the dough from Ozlems Turkish Table and look to her and a few others for authentic and tried-and-true Turkish recipes, but once you have that foundation, you can make it your own.
- You can find Sucuk here, Bastirma, a spiced cured beef also often used, or ground meat: lamb and beef are traditional, but you can work your way into turkey and chicken. Onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic….the world is yours. It is a good idea to have a cheese base, usually goats cheese, mozzarella, or feta. Or all three.
The stage is set: Dress up your Turkish Pide and find out why it will become your weekend lunch or weeknight go to. The street is now your kitchen, and dreams live there too. Write them down. Cook, and play.
Turkish Chicken Pide
Pide Dough from Ozlem's Turkish Table
- 2 large bone-in chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for chicken breasts and drizzling over pide
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 hot peppers (Chinese or Turkish), chopped
- 4 oz. goats cheese, at room temperature
- 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
- salt, black pepper, red pepper, sumac, paprika to taste on chicken breasts and over pide
- ½ bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
For the Dough
- Prepare the Pide dough per Ozlem's Turkish Table recipe above.
For the Chicken Filling
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub olive oil over chicken breasts, along with spices to desired taste. With bone in chicken, it is best to use a roasting pan with a rack, or improvise like me and place your broiler rack over a baking sheet covered in foil. The drippings keep the bottom of the breasts from getting greasy and cooks the chicken all the way through.
- In a saucepan with 2 tbsps of olive oil heated over medium heat, saute the onions and peppers until they soften slightly (they should still have form) for about 5-6 minutes. Let drain over paper towels and set aside.
- Bake the chicken breasts at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Tent and cool the chicken for at least 15 minutes, and shred the chicken breast meat (and skin!) using forks or your hands until in small, even pieces. Combine with the onions and peppers in a medium heated saucepan for a minute or two to combine the flavors.
- Lightly spray two baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Once the dough has proofed, split the dough into three pieces. Ozlem makes two pide per recipe, but I preferred slightly smaller pide.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the dough is divided, roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface into a rough oval shape. This does not have to be perfect since the ends will be twisted together. The dough should be approximately ¼ inch thick.
- Lightly drizzle the pide with olive oil. Spread the room temperature goats cheese over the pide, making sure to always leave at least a one inch border for folding the pide. You do not want to over fill.
- Over the goats cheese, sprinkle the mozzarella, followed by the onions and peppers.
- Now, sprinkle the shredded chicken even over the pide, followed by any additional spice you want–do not over salt, since both cheeses have salt. Sprinkle some parsley and drizzle with olive oil.
- Time to fold: brush the outer edges of the pide with olive oil. Gently pick up the edges and fold them over the pide all the way around the shape. The folds should be about ½ inch deep.
- At both ends, squeeze and slightly twist the extra dough and fold under a bit if too much excess is present. Carefully, lift each pide onto the baking sheets. Feel free to brush the folded crust with additional butter, or egg yolk.
- Bake the pide for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted evenly and the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy this beautiful and yet light version of a classic Turkish dish.