Börek: my experiment in Turkish cooking

I was browsing my local used bookstore and came across a Mediterranean cookbook. Because I was feeling adventurous, I bought it without looking at the recipes. The first thing I tried was Borek, mostly because it look cute. Oh yes, and I love phillo dough, especially if it is stuffed with chicken and onions. This dish can be served as a pie or molded into puffs. I chose the later (the cuteness factor). Anyway, I looked at the ingredient list and was shocked by how few spices were included. So I of course modified the recipe and was moderately pleased with how it turned out. I bought some bread and whipped up some bruschetta (diced tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, garlic) as a colorful and healthy side.

Divan Börek adapted from TURKEY Mediterranean Cuisine

~serves 4 (approx 8 puffs)

1 chiken breast
3 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
1/2 green pepper

olive oil

thyme, white papper, salt, paprika, nigella seeds

10oz puff pastry dough
1 egg


-Preheat oven to 350F
-THINLY slice chicken breast into strips
-Dice bell pepper
-Slice onion and mince garlic
-Heat 1 or 2 tbsp olive oil in skillet and saute onions 5 mins. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute. Add chicken and bell pepper and saute, stirring constantly, until meat is cooked.
-Sprinkle with pepper and pepper, and thyme to taste. And let cool.

-Roll dough and cut into circles that are about 6″ in diameter. (I made squares because it was easier and they turned out just fine.

-Put chicken mixture in each circle and fold into sphere.
-Place on oiled baking sheet and brush with egg. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and paprika.
-Bake until Borek is puffy and golden brown (25 mins?…I never time anything)


Will I cook this recipe again? Probably. But I definitly won’t buy a cook book before I examine the recipes more closely. I like bold flavors, and these puffs were a little on the bland side. Also, I like more vegetables in my meals. And long ingredient lists. Perhaps I’ll add carrots next time. Or maybe crushed red pepper flakes or part of a serrano chile. These puffs were tasty, but when it comes to chicken pasteries, I think I prefer a good pot pie.

About cookingcampus

I'm a graduate student trying to stay happy and busy and pursue the things I love.
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