Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chicken Gyros

Hello, everyone!  This is going to be a continuation of my last blog post, so today, we are going to cover the chicken, olive topping, and the homemade tzatziki sauce and assembling these bad boys!  I'm going to basically jump right into this post, and pick up from Tuesdays post, about the homemade pita bread.

Here's your grocery list for this one:
For the chicken:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 smashed cloves of garlic
1 lemon, juiced
3 tsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs Greek yogurt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried dill

For the tzatziki sauce:
16 oz Greek yogurt
1/2 English cucumber 
1 clove garlic
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1 Tbs olive oil

For the olive topping:
1/4 C chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 C Feta cheese (more or less, to your taste)
1 Tbs Olive oil

Cherry tomatoes, optional

Now then, lets get started!  You'll want to do all of this the night before, since the longer these flavors marry, the better it gets!  It's really dealers choice as to where to start, so lets start with the tzatziki sauce.  I had a large 32 oz container of Greek yogurt, that was about half empty, so I just mixed everything up in that container.  One less dish to wash, and I'm all about that!
If you're not familiar with English cucumbers, they are the long cucumbers, often found with plastic wrap around them.  You don't have to peel the skin off of these, and they have more crunch than the regular cucumbers.  

Add all of the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce into your container and mix well.  Remember when you're cutting up your cucumber that if you really love cucumbers, add more in!  If you don't care for it too much, use less!  Set this in the fridge for at least overnight.

The olive topping is pretty straight forward, just mix the feta cheese, olives, and parsley.  I added a little bit of olive oil, just to make it a little easier to mix.  Set this also in the fridge, to set up overnight.

Alrighty!  We're moving right along!  When I put together marinades, I like to mix them in zip top bags, then toss in whatever I'm marinading, remove all of the air, and zip it closed.  This way, the marinade makes complete contact with the meat (or whatever), the entire time it's in the marinade.  No flipping required.  
So, as you would guess, put everything into your zip top bag: the garlic, lemon juice, dried herbs, Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, and the olive oil.  I like to zip the top closed, and squish it around until it is well mixed, then add in the chicken strips.

You can really cut your chicken up any way you'd like.  I liked it this way, because I thought it would be easier to build a gyro with, being the same shape of the eventual wrap.

The chicken goes into the bag, the air gets pressed out, then it all goes into the fridge (sitting in a bowl, or on a plate, in case the bag leaks!)

Through the magic of the internet, 24 hours have passed!  Now that it is the next day, a few hours before I'm ready to eat, I like to slice my cherry tomatoes into slivers, and salt them.  You don't have to do this if you don't care to, but I love salted tomatoes!  In my opinion, it makes them taste more tomato-y.  
I happen to have a grill pan, so that's what I used, but if you don't have one, you can certainly just use a regular skillet.  However, before any meat touches any pan, it needs to be dry.  I just lay out some paper towels, and press my chicken between them.  This way, the chicken browns beautifully, and doesn't steam from the extra moisture.  When you're finished, don't forget to sanitize your work surface! 

I just gave my grill pan a quick spritz with some non-stick spray, after it had preheated over medium heat, then I laid my strips out, and let them do their thing for about 5 minutes per side, flipping once.

While your chicken is cooking, set up your pita bread.  Take a piece of aluminum foil, about 10 inches wide, by 12 inches wide.  Fold in half, so that it is 5 inches wide by 12 inches long.  Set your pita bread on top of your aluminum foil, in the center, then spoon out some tzatziki sauce and olive topping, followed by your tomatoes and chicken.

Once you have your chicken on, just wrap it up, over lapping your aluminum foil, securing it so that it stays put.  These are so delicious and pretty easy to put together!  Please try these, and take an instant vacation!

By the way, if some of your pita bread gets....we'll just say, "extra toasty", don't worry about it.  That's just extra flavor!  Put it on the inside of the wrap, and keep on movin'!