Chicken in Sesame Sauce

Tahinli piliç


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

This simple dish is most often found in the Aegean region and in Northern Cyprus, although there is a Black Sea version made with fish. Garlicky with a crunchy topping, it is quite rich and is best served hot with a light herb and lettuce salad.


  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 4 tablespoons tahin
  • 1-2 teaspoons pekmez
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the top

  • 1-2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, finely chopped, or roasted sesame seeds


  • Preheat oven to 400F/Mark 6/200C
  • In a bowl, beat the tahin with the pekmez, lemon juice and garlic. Bind to a smooth, creamy consistency with a little water. Season with the salt and pepper and add the strips of chicken. Mix well and leave to marinade for 1 hour.
  • Spoon the mixture into a shallow oven-proof dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and pistachios over the top and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.