The chicken over here is very cheap. It tends to come pre-packed in large (rather more than 500 gm) portions. That’s fine as the packages come with a use-by date and any we don’t eat today we can store in the fridge for a while. The labels are a bit confusing. Chicken breast joints without bones or skin are called Bonfile and boneless, skinless thighs are called Biftek. At least that’s what they’re called in the chicken shop. Yes, there is a chicken shop in Selçuk which sells whole raw chickens, whole roast chickens, chicken bits in packages and eggs. We’ve been told that this chicken shop is so good it put all the other chicken shops in town out of business. We’ve not actually tried the whole roast chicken yet, but it is 6 liras so, only a matter of time.
The packs of raw chicken parts work out a little dearer and, oddly, the thighs cost more than the breasts. The breasts are huge and one will do the two of us for dinner. We were a bit worried at first that they might be factory farmed and full of water (like the ones you get in UK supermarkets) but they don’t shrink much when they’re cooked and they actually taste like chicken.
As chicken is such a cheap source of protein here, we’ve been working out what best to do with it. To date we have poached it and served it shredded into yoghurt with herbs mixed in (reducing the resulting stock and storing it frozen into cubes out of sheer force of habit – will come in handy when it is cool enough for us to fancy some pilav), roasted it coated in lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, spices and nar ekisi sos (sour pomegranate concentrate- works a lot like tamarind), rolled the thighs round rocket and a stick of one of the local cheeses, cubed it and cooked it with aubergines, courgettes and a dash of salça, cut it into strips, marinated in lemon juice and herbs and stir fried in a wok a bit like shwarma…
You can’t really go wrong when it tastes so much like chicken.