I have shared a lot of sweets with you this month – all those yummy holiday treats. I don’t know about you but I am usually pretty ready for a sweet break right about now. I just want some good, yummy real food!!
Today I am excited to share with you a recipe I made for the first time earlier this fall. My family fell in love with it and in fact when I made it again a few weeks ago Tessa commented that it was one of her favorite meals.
Whenever we visit Portland’s Saturday Market our favorite food vendor to have lunch with is the Greek Gyro booth – yum! When I came across this recipe over at My Kitchen Cafe I knew I had to give it a try.
It was a hit! The flavor is perfect and it is easy to do. The original recipe calls for you to cube the chicken, then marinade and then cook. I chose to marinade the breasts whole and then we grilled them. In fact my husband grilled them out in our twenty degree weather.
Today I will share the chicken part of the recipe and later this week I will share the soft wrap bread that you wrap all the yummy chicken and tzatziki sauce goodness in!! If you just don’t think you can wait to make these you will just have to buy yourself some pita bread at the store but I promise you the Soft Wrap Bread is worth waiting a couple days for. I could have just eaten the soft wrap bread for my meal without the chicken!
Did I mention how wonderful the soft wrap bread is?!
This recipe calls for straining yogurt. I did not do that. I had some regular plain yogurt in my refrigerator and I used it as is. I am sure it is probably better and creamier if you take the time to strain it but I thought it was great without doing that. The chicken does need to marinade 1-2 hours so allow time for that.
Makes enough chicken and tzatziki for approximately 4-6 gyros. I also cut the tzatziki sauce recipe in half and it was plenty for the three of us.
- 16 oz. plain yogurt (not fat free unless it is Oikos or Fage or another Greek-type yogurt)
- 1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded (I used 1/2 of an English cucumber)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 2-3 bonless, skinless chicken
- Pita bread or soft wrap bread (recipe to follow this week)
- 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. (You won't believe how much liquid drains from the yogurt - it makes the yogurt much thicker and creamier. If you want to splurge on Greek yogurt, like Oikos or Fage, you won't need to strain it like this.)
- Shred the cucumber
- Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible
- Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, red 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
- 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
- Add the chicken to the bowl and mix well to coat
- Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour
- Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet, broiler or on the grill
- (I grilled it - or rather my husband grilled it in our 20 degree temperatures!)
- Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes and then cube
- Heat pitas
- Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions
- Serve immediately