Monday, March 12, 2012

Chicken Gyros

CG ed rc
During my long freezer cooking/ prepping session a couple of weeks ago I prepared this Chicken Gyro recipe.  To make it freezer friendly, cook up the homemade pitas beforehand and wrap individually in plastic wrap.  Then, prepare the marinade and add the raw chicken.  Throw everything in the freezer and let it hang out until your craving some yummy Mediterranean food :)
The night before you want to make this dish, pull the raw chicken and cooked pitas from the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator.  Then follow the recipe to make the tzatiki sauce, cook the chicken, and assemble the gyros.
I really enjoyed this recipe.  I naturally like the creamy and fresh taste of tzatiki and once you make homemade pitas you will never go back!  They can be a little time consuming to make, but totally worth it if you double the batch and freeze them ahead of time.  I also like freezer recipes that use raw meat in a marinade because they are super quick to throw together.

Chicken Gyros
Makes about 4-6 servings


For the tzatziki:
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 breast halves, but thighs would also work great here)

To assemble:
Pita bread (I highly recommend making these homemade pitas, they are amazing!)
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin


To make the tzatziki sauce, strain yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl.  Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible.

Greek yogurt would also work nicely here.  I used the plain yogurt and didn't have time to strain, but it still worked just fine.

Shred the cucumber.  Wrap in a a towel and 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.  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 minimum bowl.  Whisk together until mixed well.  Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. 

Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler.  Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.  Cut into strips.

 I pounded the breasts to flatten them slightly, cut them into strips, and then froze the whole mixture until I was ready. The night before I wanted to make this for dinner I pulled out the chicken to let thaw in the refrigerator. I decided to cook them under the broiler on high and it worked great.

Heat pitas to warm and top with chicken, tzatiki sauce, diced tomatoes, and sliced onions.  Serve immediately.

I misted the pitas with a little olive oil and warmed them slightly in the toaster (only a minute or two).

Source: Annie's Eats

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