Greek chicken gyros might be my new favorite dish. I love gyro sandwiches in general…the roasted meat coupled with herbs and tangy yogurt sauce are divine! While sheltering in place, I had a craving, and decided to make Greek chicken gyros with things I had on hand…pita bread, chicken breast, yogurt, herbs, lettuce. They were delicious! The marinade is tangy and smells fabulous. And the chicken made for a lighter, healthier meal that was still very satisfying. The marinated chicken can be either grilled, pan fried or broiled and could be served as below or by itself with lemon wedges.
If you don’t know much about gyros, they are a traditional Greek dish made with meat (usually lamb) cooked on a vertical skewer, thinly sliced and served in a pita or wrap, usually with lettuce, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce (yogurt with lemon, garlic, mint, cucumber and parsley). They are also made with beef, chicken or pork.
Without a vertical skewer, I opted for chicken breast cut into small strips, marinated for a few hours and cooked in a hot pan on the stove. As mentioned, this would be great with whole marinated breasts or thighs on the grill too.
Cooking time: 30 minutes (excluding marinating time)
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 3″ strips about 1/2″ wide
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces of Greek pita or flat bread
Thinly sliced ripe tomatoes
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Thinly sliced red onion
*My recipe for Tzatziki sauce can be found in the post for my delicious falafel recipe. I often add a minced serrano chile to my tzatziki. While not traditional, it lends a great spice to the sauce.
Mix together the garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and yogurt until fully blended. Add the oregano, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the chicken to the marinade in a bowl or place in a ziploc bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Remove from the fridge 15-30 minutes before you are ready to cook.
If doing in a pan on the stove, heat the pan over medium-high heat. When hot, use tongs to transfer the chicken to the hot pan, letting some of the marinade drip off before doing so (don’t worry about getting all of it off, it makes a delicious coating, and we’ll warm the pitas in the cooked marinade that’s left in the pan at the end). Cook until chicken is a bit browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove to a clean bowl.
Keeping the pan on medium-high heat, add a pita to the pan (don’t clean it out first) and warm for 30 seconds on each side, then put on a dinner plate. Do the same for the other 3 pitas.
To serve, spread some of the tzatziki sauce on the pita (enough to cover the surface), top with the lettuce and tomato, then the chicken and finally the red onions. (You’ll notice in my picture I didn’t have tomatoes.) You can close the pita into a wrap and eat with hands, or simply cut with fork and knife for a less messy dish.