The Shady Porch: Chicken Gyros...a flavorful sandwich!

3.13.2012

Chicken Gyros...a flavorful sandwich!

My hubby is a huge fan of gyros! When we were first dating, he would get the authentic Greek gyros (pronounced yeer-rohs) made with lamb and beef cooked on a spit for himself, and then take me to the taco place. We live in a town that has made a few failed attempts at supporting a Greek restaurant, but now he only gets his gyros when he goes back home to his alma mater for football games. I am slow to try new things, but, eventually, I did try the Greek gyro and I do like them! If you've read our weekly menu you might have noticed that we eat chicken frequently, therefore, I am always looking for new chicken recipes for our family. 
Chicken Gyros...a flavorful sandwich!
Chicken Gyro - a hearty sandwich packed with flavor!

I was visiting Annie's Eats cooking blog [love her blog and her pictures are great!]when I saw her recipe for Chicken Gyros, and of course, I thought my hubby would really enjoy this dinner! I was right! I loved it too! I prefer the chicken gyro to the traditional lamb & beef.
In the event, you're not familiar with Gyros, they are dressed with a cucumber sauce called tzatziki (see below). The gyro is served on a flat bread or in a pita pocket and can be dressed with lettuce, onion, feta cheese, crumbled bacon, kalamala olives and tomato, as desired.
Adapted from: Annie's Eats


Ingredients/Materials Needed:   
  • Cheesecloth
  • 2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Pita or Flat bread
  • romaine lettuce
  • diced tomato
  • thinly sliced red or white onion
  • crumbled bacon
  • crumbled feta cheese
-see below for remainder of ingredients

Preparing the tzatziki sauce
Marinade for Chicken
  • 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T. yogurt
  • 2 -3 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Tzatziki sauce -
Marinating the chicken
  • 16 oz. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 regular cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber
  • 1 t. white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 - 3 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 t. dill weed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Directions

Make the marinade - Place all of the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag (a bowl will work too) and mix them. Add the chicken and seal the bag (cover the bowl) and place in the refrigerator. When marinating meat (chicken, in this case)  again I like to allow it to sit overnight, but no less than an hour.

Prepare the sauce - As with any sauce I make, I try to prepare it so there is sufficient time for it to sit and develop the flavors, preferably, overnight.  First, take a medium bowl and line with cheesecloth, pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth and squeeze the yogurt to remove as much liquid as possible. Leave it in the cheesecloth for now and place in strainer over bowl and allow to sit and continue to drain while you prepare other portions of the recipe. Shred the cucumber using a grater or processor and again using cheesecloth, squeeze all of the liquid out of the cucumber. Finally, mix cucumber, yogurt, sour cream, white wine vinegar, garlic, dill weed, lemon juice, olive oil. Add salt and pepper, as desired. Refrigerate overnight, if possible and if not, 30 minutes minimum.  [Note - Tzatziki sauce can be stored in an air tight container up to 1 week.]

When you're ready to prepare the gyros. Cook the chicken as desired. When the chicken has reached  170°F (77°C) or when juices run clear, remove from heat and allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before slicing into strips. 

While the chicken is resting, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat the pitas.  Garnish the gyros with your favorite toppings, such as tomatoes, lettuce, feta cheese, olives and onions. Don't forget the tzatziki sauce! 
Chicken Gyro (gyro means 'to rotate' traditionally the
meat rotates on a spit to cook).
  καλη ορεξη  or Bon appétit!