Homemade Chicken Doner Kebab recipe!!! Carve it up, just like it’s done at the neon-lit kebab shops, then use it to roll up your very own Doner Kebabs or make kebab plates.
This Doner Kebab recipe is marinated in a heady spice mix before roasting the oven or grilled on the BBQ. Great food to make in vast quantities for feeding a crowd!
Doner Kebab recipe
It’s practically an Aussie right of passage to do the post-pub midnight kebab run at some point in your life.
Usually at the tender age of 18 when we hit the legal drinking limit (*cough, cough, no mum, I never drank a drop before then*). Late night outs with uni friends, being booted out of pubs at closing, drawn like moths to the brightly lit kebab stores.
You can’t miss the giant rotisserie of meat that greets you when you walk into a Kebab store. Sometimes, it’s concerning to think about how long it’s been there, lazily rotating around, waiting for the next customer to wander in before being carved.
In kebab shops, they are giant – like the size of a punching bag.
For this homemade Doner Kebab recipe, we are going a little smaller.
Like – 2% of the size.
What is Doner Kebab meat made of?
While the chicken kebab meat does actually look like meat, the lamb and beef kebab meats have a uniform texture that’s a dead giveaway that there’s plenty of non-real-food fillers in them!
As for seasonings / preservatives / additives…. who knows?? (She says, with an exaggerated shrug of her shoulders)
And therein lies the greatest upside of homemade doner kebabs:
You know exactly what’s in this.
So. This teeny homemade doner kebab scores big points in this field – you know this is made with all real ingredients!
Marinate, thread onto skewers, prop on edges of baking pan and bake.
Then carve up that meat, just like at the kebab shop!
Well, a teeny version of it.(Remember, for today, the rule is that size doesn’t matter!)
What’s the difference between Doner Kebab and Shawarma?
Shawarma and Doner Kebabs are prepared and used in similar ways (ie cooked on a vertical spit, shaved and served wrapped in flatbread) but they have different spice flavourings. Shawarma originates from the Middle East whereas Doner Kebabs originate from Turkey.
What to use Doner Kebab meat for
The two main uses are Doner Kebab Rolls and Doner Kebab plates. However, the meat is also used in Pide, Gozleme and even on pizza – I love them all!
To make Doner Kebab Rolls, lebanese flat bread is smeared with Hummus then topped with Tabbouleh (recipe in notes), shredded lettuce, tomato slices, optional onion then a big pile of the done kebab meat drizzled with sauce of choice (I always go chilli).
Rolled up tightly, wrapped in foil then sometimes toasted to make the bread crisp before slotting it into a paper sleeve (like pictured below).
Kebab Plates are a great alternative for something a bit different. I love the variety you get on the plates. It comes with Hummus, Tabbouleh (recipe in notes), tomato, lettuce, Mejadra (Middle Eastern Spiced Lentil Rice that’s so tasty, you can eat it plain) OR Curried Basmati Rice, and Lebanese Bread (aka pita bread). This is pretty much the standard selection that comes on Kebab plates.
Kebab plates are also a good option for a low carb meal – skip the rice and bread, go heavy on the fresh veg.
Whether you make Doner Kebab rolls or plates, both are equally delicious because of the meat! it’s loaded with flavour, juicy with caramelised edges. Just like from the kebab shop! – Nagi x
- 1 kg / 2 lb chicken thighs , skinless and boneless (Note 1)
- Olive oil , for drizzling
- 1 cup plain yoghurt , unsweetened (I use Greek)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper , optional
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
FOR SERVING (CHOOSE):
- Lebanese bread / flatbreads / pita bread , warmed
- Finely sliced iceberg lettuce
- Tomato slices
- Hummus (or Note 2 for simple Yoghurt Sauce)
- Tabbouleh (optional, Note 3)
- Red onion slices
- Grated cheese
- Chilli Sauce (I use Sriracha, it’s perfect)
- Mejadra (Middle Eastern Rice with Lentils), for Kebab Plate
How to Make Doner Kebap?
- Mix Marinade in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix to coat well.
- Cover and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, 24 hours is ideal. If only 3 hours, add an extra 1/2 tsp salt.
- Preheat oven to 220C / 430F (standard) or 200C / 390F (fan / convection).
- Choose a pan of a size such that the skewers will stay propped up on the pan walls (see photos in post or video) and the chicken will be elevated off the base. Line with foil.
- Remove chicken from fridge. Divide the chicken into 2 piles.
- Take one piece of chicken, fold in half then thread onto two skewers (see video). Repeat and push the chicken snugly up against each other. Repeat with other skewer.
- Prop the 2 skewers on the edges of the baking pan. Drizzle surface with oil.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the surface is golden with some charred bits (char is good!).
- Spoon the pan juices over the chicken. Then turn, drizzle with oil and bake for 20 minutes (or 25 – 30 minutes if you had large thighs). If you need / want more colour, switch to grill/broil for a few minutes on high – I don’t do this.
- Baste again with pan juices and stand for 5 minutes.
- Carving: Stand the skewers upright or on an angle, and slice meat fairly thinly. Use to make Doner Kebabs or Kebab Plates.
- Place a lebanese bread (or pita bread or other flatbread) on a piece of foil. Spread with a generous dollop of Hummus (or yoghurt – Note 2). Top with shredded lettuce, slices of tomato, Tabbouleh (for a truly authentic experience! Note 3), cheese (I usually go this) and Chicken. Drizzle with chilli sauce if desired (I use Sriracha, it’s perfect).
- Roll up tightly and wrap in foil. Consume and be happy!
- Serve chicken with Mejadra (Middle Eastern Spiced Rice with Lentils), shredded lettuce, tomatoes, slices of red onion, tabbouleh, dollop of hummus. Optional to serve flatbread / lebanese bread on the side.
1. CHICKEN: For this recipe, thigh is the only cut that is suitable because it can withstand the long cook time without drying out.
2. Yoghurt Sauce: Easy quick alternative to hummus. Just mix 1 cup yoghurt with 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice to taste, 1/2 garlic clove minced, salt and pepper. Mix, set aside 20 minutes+ for flavours to develop. Sprinkle of cumin also lovely.
3. Tabbouleh: 4 tbsp burghul (bulgur or cracked wheat) soaked in 1/2 cup hot boiled water until softened. Mix with 1 cup finely chopped flatleaf parsley, 1/4 cup finely chopped mint, 3 spring onions finely diced (or 1/2 red onion), 1 car ripe tomato deseeded and diced. Dress with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. It should be quite tart.
4. MAKE AHEAD/STORAGE: Carve up the chicken, then drizzle over half the pan juices. Cover and refrigerate until required, reheat in microwave for minimum time required just to warm through. Use the rest of the pan juices as required to moisten / add extra flavour onto the chicken.
5. SOURCES: Seasoning is something I created, copying the flavour of the chicken at my local kebab shop! I got the idea to do a “rotisserie” in the oven by propping the skewers up on the pan from this recipe, and I watched a bunch of videos on You Tube like this one, and this one and this one. Yes, this is truly how I “come up” with homemade version of my favourite foods!
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings, chicken only.