The first time I ever had a gyro was in Perdido Key in FL while visiting my soon to be hubby. We stopped at this po-dunk Greek Stand on the side of the road, talk about creepy. Here is a little glimpse of this marvelous treasure:
Just look at the awning and lawn chair haha. This little place was bursting with flavor and the cooks are a father and son originally from Greece. And don’t ever ask a Greek man for ketchup, he will be insulted, ask RJ about it. Let me tell you, I was in LOVE. RJ had a hard time winning me over after those! It was with lamb meat, cured off of a skewer roasting and turning for hours, let me just say it was oozing with marinade. Tons of flavor! So with this dish, it is important to marinate your chicken for a few hours.
I will admit, I attempted to make my own pita bread, I failed… epically. So luckily I had some pita bread back up from the store, probably wouldn’t have been as good but oh well! I toasted the store bought pita in the oven with a drizzle of EVOO on each side.
For the tzatziki sauce, I go ahead and strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl. Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible. While straining, start the marinade.
To start, I go ahead and make my marinade. Combine the smashed 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 a few hours.
When the yogurt has been strained, make the rest of the sauce. 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 with a food processor if you have one, if not just mix with a spoon, but you may want to coarsely chop the cucumber. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to absorb.
Once the chicken has been marinating for at least a few hours, cook it on the skillet only turning a few times to keep the flavor and prevent chewy meat. I had to drain some of the juices from the marinade after cooking the meat for about 10 minutes. After straining, cook another 10 or so minutes until the chicken is no longer pink. Let sit for 5 minutes.
When sitting, prepare your tomatoes and onions. I am going to add shredded lettuce next time as well! (ohhh yes, there will be a next time) Take your pita bread and toast them, mine were too big for the toaster so I put the oven on high broil and drizzled each side with EVOO and kept in for 5 minutes flipping half way through. Now all that’s left is to assemble and devour!
For the tzatziki sauce:
16 oz. plain yogurt (not nonfat, if possible)
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 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin
OPA!!!! I hope you like this dish 🙂 And as always I got it from my fav. blogger annies-eats.com, who got it from “Elly Says Opa!” You will impress and not be disappointed with this easy meal!