Chicken Shawarma Doner

A true classic made at home. Healthy, fresh and with some theatre.

Serves 8 | total time 1 hour 45 minutes (plus 3 hours marinating)

Prep 15 minutes | cook time 1 hours 45 minutes



  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • One large onion
  • A few wooden sticks / skewers or 1 metal skewer
  • Parsley, chopped
  • A pinch of Sumac


  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • The juice of two lemons
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper / chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4cm chunk of ginger, copped
  • pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of pepper

Serve with

  • flatbreads / pitta breads / wrap – whichever you prefer
  • fresh salad dressed simply with lemon juice – I went for lettuce and red cabbage
  • Pickled peppers which can be found at the supermarket
  • hot sauce (recipe to come)
  • garlic yoghurt (recipe to come)
  • Crushed Salad (recipe to come)
  • Charred onion, peppers and pomegranate salad
  • hummus



Part one

  • Grab a pestle and mortar and grind the garlic, ginger and salt (the salt gives it the necessary friction required for grinding).
  • Pop in the rest of the dry spices and mix.
  • Put this into a bowl (or a sandwich bag) with all the other marinade ingredients and mix well.
  • Add the chicken and mix. Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Part two

  • Pre-heat your oven to full whack while you prepare the doner.
  • Chop the top and bottom off a large onion – this acts as the base of your doner.
  • Put three wooden skewers or one metal into the onion and secure it.
  • Begin laying the marinated chicken on top piece by piece until all of it is on the skewer.
  • Add the pieces of onion on top of the skewer (the juice from these onions will hopefully moisten the chicken as it cooks – so add any other veg you have laying around).


Part three

  • Turn your preheated oven down to 200C (180C if you have a fan oven) and place the doner inside.
  • Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking every now and again to make sure it hasn’t fallen over like mine did.
  • While you wait prepare the rest of the feast (see above for ideas)

Part four

  • Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Cut straight down the layers of chicken so you have pieces with charred bits and beautiful pale white bits. You should have a real mix of texture and colour.
  • Lay out your bread, salads and sauces then serve.








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