Turkish Delights For Deepavali

I love marinating meats, especially chicken (chook). Marinades turn a normal piece of meat into something spectacular! If you just throw a chook into the oven with a little salt and pepper, olive oil; you get dinner. Put together a marinade of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, splash of white wine, trickle of honey, bit of melted butter and of course good ole S&P (salt and pepper), let a whole chook or your favourite chicken parts marinate in the marinade overnight to a week before you chuck it into the oven and you get dinner that makes you go “OMG… Mmmm…”. 

Yes it is more effort. But really, only slightly more. And the rewards are well worth it. I like putting together the marinade first so I may taste and tweak if necessary. Once done, that’s all the extra effort done. 

Since the apartment comes with a mediocre, tiny fridge (provided by the landlord), I am not able to store many things as the freezer portion is so limited. The solution is marinating. Marinades keep meats ‘fresh’ for longer in the chiller section through preservatives like salt, spices and oil.  

So, it was Deepavali and we were staying in. I wanted to make an indulgent yet healthy meal for my DCM. The Parentals recently went to Turkey on holiday and came back with Turkish goodies like apple tea, cheese, cold cuts, figs, honey comb, macadamia nuts, marinated green olives, olive oil infused with black pepper, pistachios, saffron and Turkish chicken spice rub. I’d marinated 3/4 of a fat chook in the Turkish spice rub and a few other ingredients, had organic baby carrots in the fridge and there were those green olives. A trip to Cold Storage (CS) at Great World City (GWC) provided me with all the other ingredients needed to whip up a Turkish-inspired meal. 

A week of marinating allowed the earthy, auburn spice mix to properly permeate the flesh while the lemon’s acidity acted as a tenderiser. I have a technique of oven roasting that always produces perfectly cooked chook (see recipe and cooking method here). The skin, always the most flavourful part, was crispy. The meat was so succulent that there was a pool of chicken juices at the bottom of the plate when we finished the meal. Yes, even the breast meat was juicy.

Gg's Roasted Turkish Chook with Carrot & Cranberry Salad, Cucumber, Mint & Yogurt Sauce/Dip, Turkish Green Olives and Turkish Bread

The salad was fresh, crisp and sweet (see recipe here) while the yogurt sauce/dip was cool, refreshing and zingy (see recipe here). The yogurt sauce/dip cooled the spicy heat of the chicken and the sweetness of the salad balanced the sour tones present in the chicken and the sauce/dip. The Turkish bread I found at GWC’s CS was chewy, slightly dense and great as a vessel for the chook, salad and yogurt sauce’s trip to our mouths.

It was delicious, messy and so satisfying. My DCM and I did not stop eating until everything on the tray disappeared. 

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