Turkish Chicken Wings
Turkish Chicken Wings
5 from 25 votes
Get ready to ignite your taste buds with the vibrant and scrumptious Turkish chicken wings! Tantalize your senses with this richly-spiced, yoghurt-marinated delight that transports you straight to the bustling streets of Istanbul.
Turkish Chicken Wings

Let’s dive into the flavourful world of our star dish: Turkish Chicken Wings. First, let’s set the stage. Picture Istanbul – the crossroads of Europe and Asia, where culinary traditions have intermingled for centuries. This melting pot of flavours has given birth to our recipe which is steeped in Turkish tradition. 

Now, you might be thinking that the recipe sounds complex, but rest assured, this dish is delightfully straightforward. The beauty of Turkish cuisine lies in its simplicity and respect for each ingredient, allowing the flavours to shine. The same holds true for our Turkish Chicken Wings. 

Our journey starts with the key ingredient: chicken wings. But these aren’t your average wings; they’re going to be transformed by a stunning array of spices.  

Here is where the magic truly begins, where ordinary chicken wings take a culinary journey across continents and come back seasoned, savoury, and bursting with Turkish flavours. 

A key factor to our recipe is its no-fuss process. Despite the depth of flavour, it’s surprisingly simple to make, yet tastes as though you’ve spent hours in the kitchen. Its difficulty level is easy, but the results? Phenomenal. It’s just the dish to impress your family or friends on any occasion. 

But the adventure doesn’t end there. To truly understand the essence of this recipe, we need to talk about its components. Each ingredient plays a pivotal role in creating an orchestra of flavours that is sure to delight your palate. 

From the sumac’s sour notes to the smoky heat of crushed chillies, the tanginess of the yoghurt to the savoury punch of garlic paste – each component contributes to the symphony that is Turkish Chicken Wings. But don’t be overwhelmed. You have me guiding you through every step. 

Lastly, let’s get into the heart of the matter: the marinating process. This crucial step infuses our chicken wings with the vibrant flavours of the spice mixture, ensuring every bite is a trip to flavour town. And the longer you marinate, the better the outcome. 

There you have it! A peek into the exciting world of Turkish Chicken Wings. Now, who’s ready to roll up their sleeves and start cooking? 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Before we embark on this delicious journey, let’s take a moment to understand our ensemble of ingredients. Each one holds a crucial role, making our Turkish Chicken Wings a true gastronomic delight. Ready? Let’s go! 

Chicken Wings: Chicken wings provide a perfect balance of meat, fat, and skin, promising a crispy outside and tender, juicy meat inside. While wings are the classic choice, drumsticks or boneless chicken can be equally scrumptious. 

Yoghurt: This provides a creamy base for the marinade and tenderizes the chicken, ensuring a succulent finish. Can’t find yoghurt? Sour cream or buttermilk can step in for a similar result. 

Sumac: With its tart and tangy flavour, Sumac gives our dish a distinctive, citrusy note. An adequate substitute would be lemon zest for that zesty punch. 

Salt: The backbone of any dish, salt enhances the flavours and helps in marination. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, swap it with a low-sodium alternative. 

Crushed Chillies: These add a pop of heat, enhancing the savoury notes of the wings. For a milder taste, sweet paprika could serve as a substitute. 

Hot Pepper Paste (Biber Salçasi): This adds a unique smoky, spicy depth to our wings. If it’s not available, tomato paste mixed with chilli powder could suffice. 

Cumin Powder: Cumin’s earthy, warm flavour complements the heat of the chillies. Coriander could be a good stand-in if cumin is unavailable. 

Olive Oil: Helps in evenly distributing the flavours and adds a subtle richness to the wings. Canola or sunflower oil can be used if you prefer a more neutral flavour. 

Garlic Paste: Brings a pungent kick and depth to the wings. If you’re not a fan of garlic, onion paste could be a worthy substitute. 

Paprika: Lends a sweet-spicy flavour and a beautiful red hue to the wings. Cayenne pepper could work as an alternative, but be cautious as it’s spicier. 

As we finish this flavourful breakdown, it’s clear that each ingredient plays a symphony of flavours, contributing to the irresistible appeal of our Turkish Chicken Wings. So, without further ado, let’s get marinating! 

The Unique Twist in Turkish Chicken Wings 

Unveiling the secrets of a recipe is like going on a culinary adventure, and today, we’ll explore what sets Turkish Chicken Wings apart from their global counterparts. 

Many chicken wing recipes around the world share similar base ingredients: the chicken wings themselves, salt, some form of oil, and often a spicy element.  

However, the beauty lies in the symphony created by the unique combination of ingredients that imbues each dish with its signature flair. In the case of our Turkish Chicken Wings, the star performer is the robust blend of spices, and the choir is the yoghurt marination process. 

The magic begins with a trifecta of Turkish spices: sumac, hot pepper paste, and crushed chillies. Sumac, with its tart, lemony overtones, adds a fresh and invigorating note that dances on the palate.  

The hot pepper paste and crushed chillies contribute a touch of smoky spice that layers beautifully with the earthy warmth of cumin. 

What really ties these elements together is the yoghurt marination. This step is crucial in Turkish cuisine, where yoghurt is used not just as a flavour component but as a tenderizer.  

By marinating the chicken wings in this yoghurt-spice mix, we ensure that they become tender and juicy while absorbing all the delicious flavours. The result? A crispy exterior enveloping a succulent interior, each bite a testament to Turkish culinary brilliance. 

Substituting Chicken Wings in the Turkish Delight 

There’s something undeniably satisfying about biting into a perfectly cooked chicken wing, isn’t there? The crunch of the exterior yielding to tender meat within, it’s a feeling that’s hard to replicate. 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. The flavourful marinade can elevate any piece of chicken, not just the wings. If you’re a fan of succulent, 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. 

Perhaps you prefer boneless chicken? Boneless thighs or breasts can work wonderfully too. The key is to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the chicken remains juicy and tender. 

If you’re aiming to reduce your meat consumption, you might consider using cauliflower. When roasted, cauliflower develops a beautiful caramelization and a meaty texture. The florets will soak up the marinade, ensuring each bite is flavourful. 

So, regardless of the chicken cut or even if you go the vegetarian route, the essence of this 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 

Nothing beats the divine combination of crispy skin and juicy meat when it comes to chicken wings. If you’re wondering how to achieve this balance with our Turkish Chicken Wings recipe, you’re in for a treat. 

Achieving this delicious duo requires two key steps: the marination process and the baking technique. First off, our marinade, a savoury concoction of yoghurt, spices, and herbs, is crucial for ensuring juicy meat.  

Yoghurt, owing to its acidic nature, tenderizes the chicken, ensuring the meat remains moist during cooking. It’s important to marinate the wings for at least an hour, but for maximum flavour and juiciness, letting them soak overnight is ideal. 

Now, onto achieving that coveted crispy skin. This is where our baking technique shines. By placing the marinated wings on a wire rack over a baking tray, we allow hot air to circulate around the wings, crisping them up uniformly.

Halfway through the baking, we flip the wings and baste them with oil or melted butter. This adds an extra layer of richness and aids in achieving a beautifully browned, crispy exterior. The result is a wing with a skin that’s delightfully crunchy and a centre that’s tender and flavourful. 

Remember, patience is the key to achieving crispy and juicy wings. Don’t rush the marinating or the baking process. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to creating Turkish Chicken Wings that are an absolute delight to the senses. 

Sumac Substitutions in Turkish Chicken Wings 

When it comes to Turkish Chicken Wings, sumac is one of the defining elements. This Middle Eastern spice lends 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 flavour profile that can mimic the refreshing notes that sumac brings to the dish.  

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

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

In the culinary world, flexibility is crucial. Whether it’s because of 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 that is bursting with flavour 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 

Who doesn’t love a good spicy chicken wing? But as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be bad. If you’re wondering how to temper the heat in Turkish Chicken Wings, you’ve come to the right place. 

Now, our traditional recipe calls for both crushed chillies and hot pepper paste (Biber Salçasi), the two main sources of heat. These ingredients are non-negotiable for some, but if you’re on the milder end of the spice spectrum, fret not; there are ways to adjust the heat. 

To tone down the spiciness, you could reduce the amount of crushed chillies used in the recipe. However, the hot pepper paste poses a bit more of a challenge due to its multi-layered flavour profile.  

A good compromise is to use a milder version, or you could dilute it with a bit of tomato paste, which would still add a depth of flavour without too much heat. 

Remember, the beauty of cooking lies in its adaptability. Just because a recipe calls for a certain amount of spice doesn’t mean you can’t tailor it to your preference. So, go ahead, make the Turkish Chicken Wings your own, and enjoy a dish that’s just as pleasing to your palate! 

The Magic of Biber Salçasi in Turkish Chicken Wings 

The vibrant world of Turkish cuisine is filled with a rich tapestry of flavours, one of them being the use of Biber Salçasi or hot pepper paste. This ingredient is a cornerstone in our Turkish Chicken Wings recipe, lending a depth of flavour that is hard to replicate. 

Biber Salçasi, produced from red chilli peppers, adds a unique combination of heat and sweetness that tantalises the taste buds. It provides an exquisite base note to the recipe, marrying the array of spices and harmonizing the overall flavours. 

However, it’s understandable that this speciality ingredient might not be a staple in everyone’s pantry. If you find yourself without Biber Salçasi, don’t worry; 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 savour 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 lure of Turkish Chicken Wings extends far beyond their carnivorous base. The intoxicating blend of spices, the crisp exterior, and the succulent interior can make any mouth water, including those of vegetarians. 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. The tofu’s neutral flavour makes it an ideal canvas to soak up the marinade.  

Extra-firm tofu, in particular, works best. The trick is to press out as much water as possible, allowing the tofu to absorb the marinade better. 

Another great option is seitan, a wheat-based protein that has a meaty texture similar to chicken. Seitan is also a sponge for flavours, making it an excellent candidate for our spicy, tangy marinade. Finally, there’s jackfruit, which, when unripe, takes on a texture similar to pulled chicken and absorbs flavours well. 

Remember, it’s crucial to let these substitutes marinate for a sufficient amount of time. This allows them to absorb the flavours of the marinade, just like the chicken wings would. 

In the end, it’s about crafting a meal that caters to your dietary preferences and needs, without skimping on flavour. These vegetarian alternatives are a testament to the fact that you can still enjoy the sizzle of Turkish Chicken Wings, 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 undertone. It’s what makes the marinade glossy and smooth, enabling it to evenly coat the wings and seep into every crevice. 

However, olive oil does more than just provide a silky texture. It has a relatively low smoke point, which makes it perfect for baking at the temperatures we recommend for these wings.  

When brushed onto the wings before baking, it forms a sort of seal that helps retain the chicken’s natural juices, ensuring a moist and tender result. 

But what happens if you run out of olive oil? You can use alternatives like grapeseed oil or canola oil, both of which have a mild flavour and a higher smoke point, making them suitable for baking.  

While these oils might not provide the unique flavour profile of olive oil, they will still perform excellently in its functional role. 

Remember, the best meals are often a result of 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! 

The Secret to Juicy Turkish Chicken Wings 

Nothing can quite match the disappointment of biting into a chicken wing that is dry and tough. Conversely, there’s a special kind of joy that comes from tasting a wing that’s moist and juicy on the inside, even after being cooked.  

If you’re curious about the secret behind the juiciness of these Turkish Chicken Wings, read on. 

The key lies in the marination process. The sumac, salt, and yoghurt in the marinade serve a dual purpose – they enhance flavour and tenderize the chicken.  

The acidity in the yoghurt and sumac breaks down the proteins in the chicken, making it more tender and enabling it to retain moisture during cooking. Salt, meanwhile, helps the chicken absorb and retain water. The longer the chicken marinates, the more it absorbs these ingredients and the juicier it becomes. 

Then comes the cooking process. Baking at a moderate temperature ensures that the chicken cooks evenly without drying out. Halfway through, we baste the wings, which not only adds flavour but also provides a protective layer that seals in the juices. 

In essence, a bit of preparation and a dash of patience is all it takes to make chicken wings that are tantalizingly juicy. Now, doesn’t that make your mouth water? 

The Art of Pairing Sides with Turkish Chicken Wings 

Turkish Chicken Wings are undoubtedly the star of the show. But even the most radiant stars shine brighter against the right backdrop. The side dish you pair with these wings can elevate the entire meal, complementing the flavours and creating a well-rounded dining experience. 

Traditionally, we pair these wings with steamed rice. The rice’s subtle flavour and soft texture make it an ideal counterbalance to the spicy, tangy wings. It’s like a blank canvas that soaks up the flavours of the marinade, providing a beautiful contrast. 

However, there’s a whole world of side dishes that work brilliantly with Turkish Chicken Wings. A crisp, refreshing salad can cut through the richness of the wings and cleanse the palate. Ingredients like cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes, tossed with a light vinaigrette, make a perfect salad side. 

For a heartier option, you could try a potato side. Roasted potatoes, potato salad, or even a classic baked potato can provide a filling, comforting complement to the wings. The starchiness of the potato works well against the spices and tang of the wings, resulting in a satisfying meal. 

So, feel free to experiment and find the perfect side dish that completes your Turkish Chicken Wing experience. After all, exploring is half the fun of eating! 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

When I first savoured the succulent Turkish Chicken Wings, I knew I was onto something special. So, it’s only fair that I share a few more delicacies that are just as captivating. 

The first one is BBQ Chicken Wings. Ah, my personal favourite! You can just imagine those delectably smoky, juicy wings, marinated to perfection, grilling over a crackling fire, can’t you? 

Next up is Chicken Tikka Wings. They are a delightfully spicy spin on traditional wings. Imagine the tender chicken, marinated in a rich blend of spices and cooked to perfection. Trust me, it’s a flavour explosion in every bite! 

Have you ever heard of Korean Chicken Wings? Well, they are a sweet and spicy treat that keeps me coming back for more. Picture crisp chicken wings tossed in a tangy, sweet chilli glaze. Oh yes, they’re something to dream about! 

I must also mention Sriracha Chicken Wings. Their perfect balance of spice and tang is irresistible. The sauce’s fiery kick mingles with the tender meat, creating a symphony of flavours that’s hard to beat. 

And finally, Grilled Chicken Wings. There’s something about the charred edges and tender meat that has me licking my fingers in delight every time. Trust me, these wings are a grilling masterpiece! 

So there you have it, my favourite chicken wing delights that I am sure will tantalize your tastebuds as they do mine. Do try them out and let me know how they fare in the comments. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! 

Turkish Chicken Wings

Turkish Chicken Wings

by Nabeela Kauser
Get ready to ignite your taste buds with the vibrant and scrumptious Turkish chicken wings! Tantalize your senses with this richly-spiced, yoghurt-marinated delight that transports you straight to the bustling streets of Istanbul.
5 from 25 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marination Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Appetiser
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 6
Calories 261 kcal


  • 1 kg Chicken Wings
  • 50 g Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Crushed Chillies
  • 3 tbsp Hot Pepper Paste Biber Salçasi
  • 1 Cumin Powder
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 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
  • Pair with a bowl of steamed rice and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 17gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 465mgPotassium: 207mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 285IUVitamin C: 4mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Appetiser, Chicken, Chicken Wings, Cooking, Food, Party Food, Recipe, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Welcome to Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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