Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chicken Gyros



I wanted something that'd pair pretty well with Tabbouleh and Hummus since I had pita on hand for those. I decided to give this Chicken Gyro recipe a try. I saw this recipe on a couple of blogs: Elly Says Opa and Annie's Eats. I modeled mine after the adaptation posted on Annie's site, but I tweaked hers a little too...recipe is posted below, with my changes.

This was a tasty meal, but to be honest, did take a fair amount of time. The tzatziki sauce needs to sit for 30 mins or longer...You need to marinate the chicken breasts for an hour - but once you do that prep work, the rest comes together quickly! It's a light meal that works well in the summer when you've got some fresh tomatoes you need to work through!

Ingredients:
For the tzatziki sauce:
  • 16 oz. plain yogurt (not nonfat, if possible) - I used greek yogurt Fage
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs. chicken pieces (I used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness)

To assemble:
  • Pita bread
  • Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Red onion, sliced thin
  • Iceberg lettuce sliced ultra thin

Directions:
  1. To make the tzatziki sauce, strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl. Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible. You won't need to strain greek yogurt, and so you can make this sauce the day of.
  2. Shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. To prepare the chicken, pound to even thickness. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. I used a cast iron grill pan:
  5. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin strips.
  6. Heat pitas in foil for 10-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven
  7. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes, super-thin iceberg and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats originally seen on Elly Says Opa!
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