I think you might find this very recipe pop up on a few other blogs in the coming days and I certainly hope you will consider making it yourself because these gyros are fantastic!! Granted, neither Kyle nor myself had ever eaten gyros before so we don’t really have anything to compare them to but when I saw them over at Annie’s Eats and that they were Elly’s recipe, I had to give them a fair shot. How could they not be good coming from a person whose blog name is Elly Says Opa! ??
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to make this one but trust me, you won’t be sorry! I had huge issues straining the water off the yogurt with cheesecloth and after a huge white mess I figured out how to make it work. I only let it strain for about 2 hours but the leftover yogurt seemed to be plenty thick enough. I should have read Elly’s tzatziki post before making it since she does note that using Greek yogurt (like Fage) will work fine because it is already strained and thick. This would have considerably cut down on the prep time. And in another attempt to cut down on the prep time, I took Annie’s suggestion and use my food processor’s shredder attachment (for the first time which was tons of fun!!).
The chicken was bursting with flavor with a little tanginess from the yogurt in the marinade and the tzatziki sauce was both refreshing from the cukes and powerful from the fresh garlic (which we love!). And the combination of the tzatziki and the chicken was to die for. My only regret about the dish was not making my own pitas, which I will definitely do this weekend when I make these gyros again. I ran out of time on Sunday and was bouncing between the yard and the kitchen trying to get things done in both areas and making pitas just wasn’t in the cards. Keep your eye open for that post next week though!!
One year ago: Pasta, Pesto, and Peas
Two years ago: Creamy Orzo with Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken
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
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)
- Pita bread
- Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
- Red onion, sliced thin
- 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.
- 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. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
- To prepare the chicken, 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. If using chicken breasts, cut the breasts into 1/2″ strips and add the chicken pieces to the bowl; mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler (I grilled them). Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.