Homemade Chicken Doner Kebab

In my quest (did I mention I was on a quest? I didn’t? Well I am) to recreate the kind of food you will desire, maybe even drool after, following some Friday night shenanigans, I happen-chanced across the Holy Grail of fast food creations; the Doner Kebab.

Yes the Doner Kebab; possibly the ultimate in culinary creations. The perfect match of meat and bread. Ideal sustinance for the worse-for-wear. All the salty fattiness you could want after a pub-induced coma, combined with the practicality and portability of the humble pitta bread.

I will not bore you here with the tedious realities of buying and eating Doner Kebabs after hours (suffice to say you are basically taking your life into your own hands). I will instead focus on creating this meaty treat at home.


Now before we get into the nitty gritty of homemade kebabs we need to first assess the position of Doner Kebabs in the post-pub food hierarchy. After some extensive, in-depth, research I produced the following table, which rates classic post-pub food in terms of cost, ease-of-use, nutrition and taste.

Little surprise that the humble kebab came out on top:

Table 2

So, with kebabs being a no-brainer, we will commence to the preparation. For Homemade Chicken Doner Kebab you will need (from the BBC Good Food Magazine):

  • skinless chicken thighs (boned, 12 or so)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • big old glug olive oil
  • large bunch parsley, chopped
  • pitta bread, dill yogurt sauce and tomato, onion & cucumber salad to serve (see below)

I also made some normal kebabs, for fun


First off combine the ingredients for the marinade in a big bowl. Add the chicken and coat in the marinade. Cover and put in the fridge for a few hours.


Push each piece of chicken onto two metal skewers:


Push the meat on really tight:


Cook in the oven for about 50 minutes, turning occasionally, basting with the fatty juices (you could BBQ this but we are not experiencing BBQ weather here in south London).


Check it’s cooked through, remove from the oven, cover with some foil and leave for 20 minutes. Meanwhile make the sauce – combine 2 parts of greek yogurt with one part mayo, add a big handful of chopped dill and season. Make the salad by chopping up some deseeded cucumber, tomato and red onion and adding some lemon juice and seasoning.


To serve, stuff some warmed pitta with sliced chicken, topped with the salad and creamy sauce.


Just like you get in the ‘Happy Doner Kebab House of Happiness’ down the Old Kent Road…


Add some Tiger Prawn and Sirloin Steak Kebabs for the sheer hell of it. Let’s all take one last look at the doner, it didn’t last long…



33 thoughts on “Homemade Chicken Doner Kebab

  1. Sounds an easy recipe. Will surely try it. The first thing I ate in Leeds, UK, was the delicious Doner Kebab. Sadly we don’t get it here in India. I was craving for it since a long time. And I wanted it the UK style. So, thanks for this. ☺️☺️

  2. made this for tea tonight tastes nice but something is missing think im going to add some mint and a pinch of chilli next time other wise very nice

  3. Good recipe, but there no temperature for the oven, and it doesn’t say which ingredients for the seasoning, just a list.

  4. I’ve been hunting for a recipe just like this! It is just like a kebab shop chicken but better. A definite crowd pleaser!

  5. hello. thankyou for your post. what an amazing receipe you shared. I made this for my wife and she had two pittas stuffed with chicken. I omitted the all spice and added more garlic and cumin. the coleslaw I shredded one carrot one red onion and quarter white cabbage. added one teaspoon of mayo and tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar. makes it less fattening. side salad simple lettuce and spinach with some balsamic vinegar. I priced up my meal roughly 12 chicken thighs £5.00. half lettuce 25p carrot 5p onion 12p white cabbage 12.5p pitta bread for 5, 10p each. ingredients such as spices couple of pence. garlic approx 12p. mayo matter of pence. so lovely meal easily halved in price and much lower in fat with no salt
    thankyou so much for sharing
    thankyou so much

  6. Pingback: Traditional East Coast Donairs | The Happy Health Freak

  7. What a terrific idea to use a pan and roast it horizontally instead of vertically! Fantastic! AND, the best part is that you actually know what kind of meat you are actually getting. Looks wonderful!

  8. Wow, that looks delish, but I fear that instead of inspiring your friends to make their own to satisfy the post-pub crawl hunger pangs, they will all just drop by your place for take out. I know I would if it didn’t involve transAtlantic airfare.

  9. Now how long did it take you to research this impressive list of post pub options? It can’t be easy to have such a quest (I’d say mission) and document it so coherently – good job. I guess our current group of congress idiots over here would disagree with you on the nutritional value of pizza since they think that’s a perfectly balanced meal for our school children – why they even claim that tomato sauce on the pizza can be considered a vegetable!
    I think these Doner’s look good enough to eat sober and since I’m trying to develop a menu for a BBQ I’ll be hosting in September, just the fact that these can be eaten standing, sitting or lying down puts this on my menu list – thank you! (Some of my guests may even be sober although probably not many of them).

  10. I love love love this!! Looks SO good. We’ll have to swap recipes! The east coast of Canada is famous for their donairs but they are made by taking a huge pile of ground beef with a million different spices, place on a spit, then the meat is shaved off really thin and it’s wrapped in a pita with lettuce, tomato and onions. Now, here’s where the great debate beings – the sauce! The real donair sauce is a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, vinegar and a ton of garlic powder. If you are anywhere west of Atlantic Canada you will get tzatziki, even if they use such trickery phrases like “Authentic East Coast Donairs”. My husband is from Nova Scotia and since he can’t get these out west where we live now, I have learned to make it for him ~ you’ve inspired me to do a post on it, even thought it’s far from being “healthy” lol. They are so good 🙂
    I’m not a big beef eater so my favourite all time late night feast is Chicken Schwarma, which is shaved chicken on a pita with lettuce, tomatoes, pickled turnip and pickles all wrapped in a warm pita with garlic sauce. You smell fantastic the next day!
    So if you ever cross the pond make sure you check out our donairs and schwarmas 🙂

    • Will do and i’m glad you are an enthusiastic Doner eater (we spell if different don’t we) – I found a recipe to create a lamb version that is cooked in a big can – will try it but do post your version I’d be interested to see how it’s done!

  11. This is really, really, really impressive. I could almost be inspired to give it a try. Not sure about smoked paprika (never heard of it before), but everything else looks just fine.

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