Chicken tarna is a signature dish from Zankou Chicken, and a creation they are most proud of. They say that the inspiration came from the shawarma is prepared, which is an item they’ve been serving alongside chicken, since the early days of the restaurant. Today’s menu looks a lot different than before, and a lot of that has to do with the creation of chicken tarna.
The word “Tarna” translates into English as “turn” and it describes the process that Zankou uses to prepare and cook the dish. Just like a shawarma, the chicken is roasted for several hours after it is seasoned, allowing the savory juices to soak into the meat and carmelize on the outside.
As a result, the flavor can be very intense (made even moreso when you add garlic sauce). The good news is it’s never overpowering, just very tasty. The edges get crisp, so there is a bit of crunch when you bite into it, and the Mediterranean spices seem to jump out with every bite.
Zankou cuts the tarna into small slices, and either serves it in its own pita or as part of a plate. Some people will even mix it with tahini salad dressing for a zesty kick. It pairs well with garlic sauce, but don’t forget to ask for additional pita.
Tabbouleh, with its crunch and fresh flavors, also pairs well with chicken tarna. It’s refreshing and healthy too. If you’re just looking for a quick bite, tarna is one of the best plates you can order at Zankou Chicken.