Many are not familiar with the Turkish Donner or Donair kebab. Similar to a Shawarma or a Gyros, it’s made by stacking meat or chicken in a giant pyramid like shape and is cooked on a rotisserie. It’s then shaved as it cooks and who doesn’t love shaved meat? Of course we don’t have vertical rotisseries in our homes, neither are we cooking kilos of meat so this simple homey hack will get you from here to donnair in no time.

Chicken is marinated in a combination of red pepper paste, yogurt, oregano and other spices and frozen into a log before thinly slicing.

I visited Istanbul with my family in 2013. The country is packed with incredible culture and amazing cuisine that relies on simple ingredients to pack incredible flavor. Like most Middle Eastern cuisines, Turkish food is cooked with spices and herbs that are not over powering and it relies on direct heat for many of it’s incredible dishes.

One of the dishes I could not get enough of was the Turkish Doner Kebab. There is literally no right way to serve this. We wandered from place to place and this delicious meat was served in many different ways.

Recently I discovered Refika’s Kitchen and my love for Turkey and it’s delicious food was rekindled!

Chicken Doner

3.86 from 75 votes



  • 1 cup Onion juice 1 large white Onion
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 6 tbsps of hot Pepper paste
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 3 tbsps dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed white Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsps Yogurt


  • 2 lbs – 907 gas boneless Chicken – 2 breasts and 4 thighs

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 cups Onions
  • Salt

Pepper sauce

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup reserved marinade
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock

To assemble – optional

  • Pickles
  • Yogurt sauce – Yogurt salt pepper and fresh oregano
  • Parsley
  • Caramelized onions
  • Oven roasted tomatoes


  • Cut the onion into pieces and puree it, using a little water if required
  • Strain and collect one cup of juice
  • In a bowl add the onion juice, tomato and hot pepper paste, cumin powder and dried oregano, white pepper, salt and mix well
  • Add the yogurt and stir
  • Reserve 1 cup of this marinade for later
  • Butterly the chicken breasts
  • Marinate the chicken with the rest of the marinade overnight
  • Place two sheets of cling wrap down and pile on the chicken pieces and wrap tightly
  • Secure in a plastic bag and freeze for 4 hrs to overnight
  • Allow the frozen chicken to sit on the counter for 20 mins and then start slicing on all sides
  • Optional fry the Onions till semi brown and add some salt to speed up the process
  • Either fry the chicken as you slice or freeze as you slice so the chicken slices maintain their shape
  • Once all the chicken is cooked add the bluet and olive oil in the same pan together with the reserved marinade and chicken stock
  • Bring this to the boil and then to a simmer
  • Dip your flatbread or pita in the pepper sauce and top with the doner, some fries, peppers etc or roll into a wrap