Chicken Thighs in Aubergine

Patlıcan sarması

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

The sophistication of this dish suggests Ottoman origins, as each marinaded chicken thigh is carefully wrapped in strips of fried aubergine. It also works well with chicken breasts or pieces of veal fillet, and strips of courgette can be used as an alternative to aubergine. The deliciously lemony taste is best appreciated straight out of the oven.


  • 8 chicken thighs, boned and skinned
  • 4-5 long thin aubergines
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, chopped
  • sunflower oil for frying

For the marinade

  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • 4-6 allspice berries, crushed


  • Preheat oven to 350F/Mark 4/180C
  • Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Carefully roll the chicken thighs in the marinade and leave to soak up the flavour for at least 2 hours, turning them occasionally. Partially peel the aubergines in zebra stripes and slice finely, lengthways. Soak the slices in cold salted water for one hour to remove the bitter taste of the indigestible juices. Then drain them and squeeze out the excess water.
  • In a shallow pan heat a thick layer of sunflower oil and fry the aubergines, a few at a time, until they take on a golden colour (be careful not to fry them harshly, or they will become too crisp for the purposes of this dish). Drain the slices on absorbent paper. Select 16 of them for wrapping and line the base of an oven-proof dish with those that are left over.
  • Lay two slices of aubergine, one over the other, in a cross and place a marinaded chicken thigh in the centre. Tuck the thigh into a neat bundle, wrap the slices of aubergine tightly around it and place it, seam down, in the dish. Do the same with the other thighs, pour the remaining marinade over the top and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Cover the dish with a lid or foil, and cook for 25-30 minutes. Serve the chicken straight from the oven.