Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Recipe

Greek Chicken Gyros

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One of my most cherished memories involves a trip to Greece with my closest friends. We spent our days exploring ancient ruins and our evenings indulging in local cuisine. The highlight of our culinary adventure was undoubtedly the Greek chicken gyros we had at a small, unassuming taverna by the sea. The flavors were so vibrant and fresh, it felt like a perfect harmony of textures and tastes. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to recreate that experience at home.

Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki is a dish that brings back those wonderful memories every time I make it. The marinade infuses the chicken with tangy lemon and rich garlic flavors, while the tzatziki adds a creamy, refreshing contrast. I love how the combination of fresh salad ingredients balances the richness of the chicken and yogurt.

One of the things I appreciate most about this recipe is its versatility. For a spicier kick, adding a pinch of chili flakes to the marinade can work wonders. Alternatively, for a more herbaceous twist, including some fresh dill or mint in the tzatziki can elevate the dish. You can also opt for whole-wheat pita bread for a healthier variation or even serve the components as a deconstructed platter for a fun, interactive meal with family and friends.

This recipe has become a staple at my gatherings, often prompting guests to ask for the secret behind the delicious flavors. It’s not just a meal; it’s a way to relive those Greek sunsets and the joy of sharing good food with great company. Preparing this dish is like inviting a bit of Greece into your kitchen, and I hope it brings as much joy to your table as it does to mine.

Making Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 minced garlic cloves (approximately 3 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cucumbers (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup grated after squeezing out juice)
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 1/2 finely chopped red Spanish onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 diced tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 3 diced cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or red wine/apple cider vinegar)
  • 4 to 6 pita breads or flatbreads
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or more for richer taste)
  • Black pepper

Directions

  1. In a ziplock bag, combine the marinade ingredients and mix well. Add the chicken, ensuring it’s fully coated. Marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, ideally up to 12 hours, but no more than 24 hours.
  2. To make the Tzatziki, slice the cucumbers lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Grate the cucumbers coarsely and squeeze out the excess liquid using paper towels or a tea towel. Mix the grated cucumber with the remaining Tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and set aside for at least 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
  3. Prepare the salad by mixing together all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
  4. For the chicken, oil an outdoor grill and preheat it to medium-high. Alternatively, heat a tablespoon of oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and fully cooked. Place the cooked chicken on a plate, cover with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. If necessary, cut the chicken thighs into smaller pieces. Warm the pita or flatbread, place it on parchment paper or foil, and layer it with salad, chicken, and Tzatziki. Roll up the wrap, secure it with the parchment paper, and twist the ends. Serve and allow everyone to assemble their own gyros if desired.

Making Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki

FAQs:

How long can I marinate the chicken for the gyros?

Ideally, you should marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop. For the best taste, marinate it for up to 12 hours, but avoid marinating for more than 24 hours as the texture of the chicken can begin to degrade.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thigh fillets for this recipe?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs. However, chicken thighs are preferred due to their juiciness and flavor. If using breasts, be mindful not to overcook them as they can dry out more easily.

What is the best way to warm pita or flatbread?

To warm pita or flatbread, you can use a dry skillet over medium heat, grill them for a few seconds on each side, or wrap them in foil and place them in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes. This makes them more pliable and easier to roll.

Can the Tzatziki be made in advance?

Yes, Tzatziki can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. It’s best to make it at least 20 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld, but you can prepare it up to a day in advance for convenience.

What can I use as a substitute for Greek yogurt in the marinade and Tzatziki?

If you don’t have Greek yogurt, you can use plain regular yogurt. Strain it through a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer to remove some of the whey and thicken it. This will give you a texture closer to Greek yogurt.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

To make this recipe gluten-free, simply use gluten-free pita bread or flatbreads. Ensure that all other ingredients, especially processed ones like vinegar or yogurt, are certified gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination.

Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Recipe

Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki

Make delicious Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki at home! Follow this simple recipe for a taste of Greece. Perfect for any meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Course Sandwich
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

MARINADE:

  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 3 minced large garlic cloves ~3 tsp
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar or red wine/apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper

TZATZIKI:

  • 2 cucumbers to make about 1/2 - 3/4 cup grated cucumber after squeezing out juice
  • 1 1/4 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or more for a richer taste
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Black pepper

SALAD:

  • 3 diced tomatoes deseeded
  • 3 diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 finely chopped red Spanish onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 to 6 pita breads or flatbreads

Instructions
 

  • Place the marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag and massage to combine. Add the chicken, ensuring it's fully coated. Marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably 3, ideally 12 hours, and no longer than 24 hours.

Make the Tzatziki:

  • Halve the cucumber lengthwise and use a teaspoon to remove the watery seeds. Coarsely grate the cucumber, then wrap it in paper towels or a tea towel and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Combine the cucumber in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Prepare the Salad:

  • Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Cook the Chicken:

  • Brush an outdoor grill with oil and preheat on medium-high. Alternatively, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Assemble the Gyros:

  • If the chicken thighs are large, cut them into smaller pieces. Place a warmed pita or flatbread on parchment paper or foil. Layer the salad, chicken, and tzatziki down the middle. Roll up the wrap, enclosing it with the parchment paper. Twist the excess parchment paper at the end to secure it, cutting if desired. Lay everything out on a table and let everyone assemble their own gyros.
Keyword Chicken

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