Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Recipe - Fakeaway - Chicken Kebab with Red Cabbage

If you've followed my blog for a bit you may have seen my previous 'fakeaway' posts where I try to recreate a reasonably authentic tasting takeaway meal at home.  If you haven't seen these or would like a recap, then the Chinese posts are here and here, and the Indian takeaway posts can be found here and here.

As you can imagine, a takeaway for a family of six can cost an absolute fortune, which is one of the reasons behind my quest.  The other reason is that a lot of these dishes can be made a lot healthier too.  Mr G and I, and the two eldest, love the Chicken Doner kebab that a local takeaway makes.  It is seasoned chicken meat, cooked on a spit (like a traditional Doner kebab), sliced and served on a homemade naan bread, and topped with the most delicious red cabbage and chilli sauce.  However, a takeaway from here can cost around £30 a time.  So it is reserved for birthday treats and the like. Recreating this dish is my latest food obsession, I'm hammering Google left, right and centre, but it's so hard to find out what herbs and spices these manufacturers use.  It's a lot easier to recreate a Chinese takeaway dish because a lot do use pre-made sauces, and with Indian curries, once you've found yourself a good base sauce, you're sorted for life. 

So today, I decided to bite the bullet and make a start on trying to recreate this dish. 

First of all I made a marinade for the meat.  Because I don't have a spit, I decided I would cook the chicken breasts whole in the oven, and then finish them off on my George Foreman grill before slicing, to give them a slightly charred taste.

I pricked the chicken breasts with a fork and I marinated them for about 2 hours (should have been longer but we were panicking about losing power in this storm!).

5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt

Whisk this together and pour over the chicken breasts.

Next, prepare your red cabbage.  I grated half a head of red cabbage up in my food processor.

Put this in a glass dish (nothing that will stain!) and sprinkle over a tablespoon of salt.  Leave this for 20 minutes.

Put the chicken in a roasting dish, pouring the leftover marinade on top.  I cooked mine at Gas Mark 4/180C for 25 minutes. 

While waiting for the cabbage I made the bread.  I have to admit I messed up here.  I found a recipe for tortillas, and you could make them traditionally thin or thicker, which would be ideal for this dish.  However the recipe stated it made 60.  So I quartered it... thinking I could freeze the surplus?  Well, my quartered measurements made five thin tortillas.  And they weren't very big either.  So rather than giving the amounts I used, I'll share the link to the original recipe here.  The dough then needs to be left for ten minutes.

After 20 minutes, squeeze as much moisture out of the cabbage as you can, I put it in a colander over a pan and used a potato masher to press the liquid out.  Place back into a clean bowl, and squeeze the juice from a lemon over it, stirring well.  You'll see the cabbage begin to change from a deep purple to the more vivid pickled cabbage type colour.  Season this to taste with ground black pepper and salt (if required). 

I took the chicken from the oven and put the breasts on the George Foreman grill for a few minutes just to char the outsides.  Slice or shred the meat with forks.

Split the dough into equal sized balls and roll out to the size and thickness you want.  Heat a heavy frying pan (no fat required) until very hot, and lay a tortilla in it, and cook until the top begins to bubble before flipping over and cooking the other side.

To assemble the kebabs, lay a tortilla on a plate, add the chicken, salad if required (we had shredded Iceberg lettuce and onion).  Top with the cabbage and your usual sauce of choice.  We opted for Green Jalapeno sauce (which when coupled with the cabbage made it taste even better) and Minted Yogurt sauce.

So, what was the verdict?  It was lovely, and not a scrap of food left over.  My husband, daughter and youngest son said that they preferred my version to the takeaway.  Personally I still prefer the taste of the chicken from takeaway version.  I also prefer having it cooked for me ;-)   It will be a good go-to recipe while I keep on hunting until I find out how to make 'that taste' :-)

Whose takeaway would you love to be able to recreate at home?  Have you had any successes?  Let me know in the comments.  Apart from this recipe, I would love to be able to recreate KFC's Zinger Burger and Burger King's Whopper!  

M x


  1. Looks good, I've been experimenting with the same sort of thing - my marinades usually contain cumin,caram masala, cayenne pepper and coriander, although I've used cajun which was good and morrocan flavouring. Going to try greek yoghurt in the marinade next and your recipe for the Tortillas and make them thick, will be using 50:50 wholemeal flour though. Soak my cabbage in lemon juice/water for an hour too then rinse
    Happy Kebabbing :)

    1. Oh my word Rick, I'm sorry I didn't reply to your comment, I always try and do so but this came while I was away on holiday!

      Ohhhhhh I love Cayenne pepper, I go through some of that, I can tell you! Might give that a go. Trying a Doner tomorrow, wish me luck! :-)

  2. How long does the red cabbage last in fridge i thought vinegar was add to red cabbage

    1. Hi, I don't know exactly how long it would keep for, I'm sure a couple of days? I made just enough for us all, so there weren't any leftovers. Red cabbage is usually pickled but this isn't the same as the stuff from a jar. Sorry to be so vague x


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