There is this place in the skyway in downtown Minneapolis that makes awesome chicken gyros. You see, I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but I LOVE the flavors in a traditional gyro especially the tzatziki sauce. So when I’m looking for a gyro fix that’s where I go, until I found this recipe for chicken gyros that is. I adapted it just a little and its been one of our staples for the past two years. It also makes great leftovers to take to work the next day.
You’re going to love the flavorful, garlicky chicken and the cool creamy cucumber of the tzatziki sauce. The place downtown tops their gyros with lettuce, onion, and tomato so that’s what I used too.
Here’s what you need:
Now the chicken should sit in the marinade and the tzatziki sauce flavors should meld together for about an hour before you make this. But what I like to do to make this a quick weeknight meal is to prepare those pieces the night before and when I get home dinners on the table in about 20 minutes.
Start by making the tzatziki sauce. Peel the cucumber and grate it into a bowl lined with paper towel using the small holes of the cheese grater. Then wrap the paper towel around the cucumber and squeeze to drain out all the water from the cucumber.
Add the cucumber to a bowl with some plain Greek yogurt. Note: if you don’t have Greek yogurt you’re going to want to strain the yogurt overnight using some cheese cloth over a bowl. I buy Greek so I can skip this step. Grate in some garlic. Add a splash of white wine vinegar, some salt and pepper, some fresh lemon juice (squeeze about half a lemon) and some extra virgin olive oil – just a drizzle.
Mix everything together and give it a taste. Adjust to your liking.
Refrigerate for at least an hour. This keeps just fine overnight so feel free to make it the night before.
Now you want to get the chicken in the marinade. First mix together some smashed garlic, the juice of one lemon, some red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and a couple tablespoons of plain yogurt (use some of the Greek you had for making the tzatziki), dried oregano, salt and pepper.
Pound your chicken breasts nice and thin. I like to use a sheet of cling wrap over my chicken so I don’t get chicken juices flying around my kitchen. And it keeps the meat mallet clean if I don’t get too wild.
Add the chicken to the marinade and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least an hour but overnight works too if you want to make this ahead.
Now it’s time to cook the chicken. Remove from marinade and wipe of the excess. Heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until completely cooked through. This will depend how thin you pounded your chicken for me it was about 7 minutes total, 4 on the first side and 3 on the second. The chicken is also great on the grill.
Allow the chicken to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile slice up some tomato, red onion, and romaine.
Warm your pita bread and assemble the gyro.
I have this problem with building everything too full. Tacos, burritos, wraps, even gyros. So I decided to build this on a sheet of tinfoil, that I could wrap it up in to help me eat it.
Enjoy! The leftovers are great. For a twist with the leftovers, last time I took the chicken, tzatziki, red onion, and cheese and turned it into a gyro pizza.
- 8 oz plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cucumber
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 t white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of half a lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 lemon
- 2 t red wine vinegar
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T plain Greek yogurt
- 1 T dried oregano
- Salt & pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- To serve:
- Pita bread, warmed
- Roma tomato, thinly sliced
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Romaine lettuce, thinly slices
- Start by making the tzatziki sauce. Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds. Shred it using the small holes of a cheese grater over a bowl lined with paper towel. Wrap the paper towel around the cucumber to squeeze out all the water. Mix together the cucumber, yogurt, garlic (grate it right into the bowl), white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk until completely combined and refrigerate at least one hour.
- Mix together the marinade ingredients. Flatten the chicken breasts and completely coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- To cook the chicken, remove from marinade and allow the excess to drip off. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the chicken is cooked through. About 4 minutes on the first side and 3 on the second. Allow to rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing.
- To assemble top the warmed pita with the chicken, tzatziki and your choice of toppings. We like to use tomato, red onion and romaine.