Exploring The Turkish Kitchen Blog

Having previously had a go at a home made döner recipe I want to have a go at something a little out of the ordinary. Peppered around the country and especially in tourist resorts are little specialty döner shops - Hatay Üslu Döner.

The region of Hatay borders Syria and it’s food is famed. Spicy, rich and with middle eastern influences they really know how to create dishes to get your taste buds going.

The climate also allows for growing different foods and ingredients making it’s cuisine very special and desired around Turkey. Antakya is a city within the region of Hatay that is especially famous for it’s food alongside İskenderun.

The Hatay döner is different from a standard chicken doner in both the marinade and preparation. Having a spicy kick with citrus notes as it’s made with orange juice in the marinade and a special sauce which is the first component to go into the wrap or durum when it is prepared. Hatay Dönercı’s (Doner makers) are very proud of the kebab they produce and you’ll see many signs advertise it along with regular customers.

I’m lucky that one of my ovens, a Turkish made Vestel oven has a rotisserie setting and it’s fabulous for making homemade döners and roast chickens – if yours doesn’t you can easily make a döner using a large potato or onion cut in half with 3-4 skewers. Just thread the chicken pieces on to the skewers and use the potato / onion as a stand to hold it up (Make sure your bigger pieces are at the bottom to prevent it toppling over)

I made my marinade up a good 4-5 hours before it was time to cook, so the chicken took on the full flavor, the sauce and the other ingredients I prepared whilst the chicken was in the oven. İt took a little effort but it’s well worth getting them ready to make the assembly part much easier.

The great thing about Hatay doner is you don’t really need anything on the side – just a big glass of ice cold home made Ayran – The Turkish yoghurt drink but you could serve with little pickled peppers and a side of chips if you wish.

If you also have a Vestel oven you should check if you too have a rotisserie function – I promise once you’ve used it you’ll never want a roast chicken sitting still in the oven again!


Hatay Döner Recipe, A Spicy Homemade Chicken Delight


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