Turkish Chicken Döner Kebab Bowls
What is a Turkish chicken döner kebab bowl? It is my personal attempt to recreate the döner kebab at home. This is one of my favorite childhood fast food meals. I remember saving my lunch money for a few days so I can afford to buy myself a döner kebab. So, what exactly is it?
It is a flat bread wrap that is filled with meat, vegetables, hummus and a special white sauce. The inventors of the original dish were brilliant. They stacked marinated meat on a big vertical, rotating spit and cooked it slowly. That way the meat bastes in its own juices for hours and creates irresistible flavors. Most often the meat used for döner kebab is lamb, but it can also be chicken or beef. The person who prepares the döner kebab cuts from the meat by creating an inverted cone. Then he arranges the meat along with some fresh vegetables and hummus on a flatbread. The final step is to drizzle it with the yogurt based sauce and close the wrap. Having some fries with this dish is a must. The döner kebab won’t be complete without them.
How is my recipe different than the original?
This Turkish chicken döner kebab bowl was created after I watched a documentary about the most popular sandwiches in the world. When I saw the döner kebab in the list I realized how much I miss eating it. I remembered how much I enjoyed that wrap. Therefore, I decided that I’m going to make my own version of it.
A big difference from the original is that I don’t use flatbread. Instead, I serve all the fillings in a bowl. I also make the white sauce slightly different in order to reduce the cooking time. The original sauce contains boiled potatoes and it needs to be chilled for at least a day before you consume it. Also, I don’t have a big, vertical, rotating spit at home, so I decided to grill the meat.
This is not a fast recipe, but it is totally worth trying. It takes some planning in advance. I recommend marinating the meat for at least three hours. It also has many different components. I prepare my hummus at home, but you can use store bought. The fries I serve are also homemade. My recommendation is to make this recipe when you have more time to cook. It is great idea for an indulging weekend meal.
Turkish Chicken Döner Kebab Bowls
For the chicken marinade
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 cup Greek yogurt whole is best
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves finely chopped or pressed
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion you can also grate it
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 whole lemon zest and about 2 Tbsp juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Ingredients for the bowl
- 3 russet potatoes
- ½ cup hummus I use my smoky roasted red pepper hummus
- ½ cup chopped lettuce I used iceberg
- 4 small tomatoes campari on the vine
- sliced red onion
- sliced radishes
- sliced cucumbers
- sliced olives
For the white sauce
- ½ cup Greek yogurt whole
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove minced or pressed
- salt to taste
- ½ cup cooking oil to fry the potatoes
- parsley or other fresh herbs for topping
- First prepare the marinade for the chicken by combining all the ingredients in a dish or ziplock bag. Marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours (best overnight).
- Preheat a grill to medium high. Grill the chicken thighs for about 5-7 minutes per side (depends on thickness). You can also bake chicken in the oven on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes (10 minutes per side).
- In a small pot add the oil and heat it up to medium high. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them to straight cut fries or wedges. Dry the potatoes with a paper towel and fry them in batches until golden brown. Once you remove them from the oil drain them on a paper towel or a cooling rack and season with salt.
- Divide the ingredients between 4 bowls. Arrange the sliced, grilled chicken, lettuce, fries, onion, tomato, cucumber, radish, olives and hummus.
- Prepare the ingredients for the sauce and drizzle it over each bowl. If desired top with some fresh chopped herbs.