Oh no they didn’t: chicken baklava

November 01, 2010, Monday/ 15:04:00/ MERVE TUNÇEL
Along with the soaring number of fast food restaurants, the number of places specializing in chicken, which has found a nice cushiony place for itself in the fast food scene, is on the rise.
Chicken sandwiches, chicken döner and chicken shish are just a few tastes that we love to savor. However, an item that is going to have you saying, “Oh no they didn't,” is now available on the menu of a new chicken restaurant. And that is none other than chicken baklava. If you're catching yourself saying, “Now how could that be?” don't sweat it, it's already a done deal.

Before we embarked upon Tav-vuk restaurant, located in Manisa, Akhisar, we would have never thought in a million years that a baklava like this could exist. And if you, like us, happen to think that this is a chicken dish that has the appearance of baklava, then think again. We asked and found out that it is the good old baklava -- sweet and syrupy -- made with chicken. A mix made from walnuts, cinnamon and chicken is placed in the layers of dough. But the inoffensive taste of chicken that teases your taste buds was quite nice, much to our surprise.

This dish is the brainchild of Keskinoğlu Group Administrative Committee member Keskin Keskinoğlu. Keskinoğlu believed that chicken, used as an ingredient in some desserts, would go well with baklava and explains how he carefully monitored the period of production. It wasn't all that easy attaining the particular taste he was looking for. Nine to 10 trials later, he said, “That's it!” and the customers who raised their eyebrows just like us upon hearing about chicken baklava for the first time, were skeptical at first but took a liking to it upon tasting the dish. And this isn't the only surprise in store for customers of the restaurant opened up by the Keskinoğlu Group. There are many chicken dishes that you will never have heard of being served up. If you are looking for something a little different, diverging from the quintessential meal of döner and ayran or a hamburger and coke, then this menu just might be for you!

Chicken mantı: The classic mantı that we all adore has had its stuffing replaced with boiled chicken instead of ground beef. After being baked and then fried, the chicken mantı is served with yogurt and a tomato paste sauce.

Tavukmacun: A play on words from the original lahmacun, a thin bread with meat and other toppings, tavukmacun is a modern twist on the traditional Turkish fix. The spicy chicken meat used as a topping is mouth-watering.

The 20-day rotisserie chicken: OK, don't think for a second that the chicken remains on the rotisserie for 20 days. This dish is prepared from spring chickens that aren't quite adults yet -- 600-650 gram spring chickens to be exact. The meat is marinated with red pepper flakes and served in single serving form.

Lades dumpling: Remembering playing with wishbones when you were little? Well this dish takes a trip down memory lane, preparing the wishbone part of the chicken alone in bite size pieces. A special machine, cutting just that part of the chicken, is used in its preparation. The pieces are then marinated, covered and fried before serving. This is a first in Turkey.

The 20-day chicken and the Tavuk Bursa kebap are among the customers' favorites. The restaurant, currently located in Manisa, Akhisar, plans to open up many branches in Turkey over the next five years. Among the cities they are eyeing are İstanbul, İzmir, Ankara, Antalya, Trabzon, Bursa, Eskişehir, Gaziantep and Edirne

TAV-VUK: İzmir- İstanbul highway, Kayalıoğlu disctrict, Akhisar/Manisa