Every so often, I feel like I know what I’m doing in life. The past week was not one of those times. From memo writing to freaking out about summer job prospects to a mouse situation, things have been interesting. Luckily, I have tons of friends with whom I can commiserate, which makes the stress of everyday life a wee bit more bearable.
That being said, I found myself turning to easy solutions for weeknight meals in order to maintain some sanity, and I am really excited to share today’s recipe with you. I love Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food. The blend of spices, plus the combination of savory meats and cool, crisp vegetables easily satisfies most of my hunger cravings. My sister is a pro at making Persian cuisine, but combination of marinating and cooking time means that her kabobs and rice are not exactly an everyday staple. Needless to say, I was thrilled to come across this recipe on interest from one of my favorite food blogs, Annie’s Eats. I changed it up a bit by adding a few of the ingredients from Liz’s kebabs, and the result was deeeelish. With a thirty minute marinade, you can enjoy a chicken gyro any night of the week.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Happy eating!
Weeknight Chicken Gyros
Adapted from Annie’s Eats. You can cook the meat either on the stove or in the oven. I did a combination of both–first throwing ’em in the pan for a couple of minutes, then tossing them under the broiler to get a slightly charred exterior. Prep time for all of this is about 15-20 minutes, so I threw this together in the morning, placed it in the fridge, then cooked it when I come home that night. YUM.
For the tzatziki
- 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
- ½ hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated (on the large holes of a box grater)
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ tablespoon dried or 1-2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 1 tsp white wine or champagne vinegar
- Drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the gyros
- 1 to 1¼ lbs. chicken breast tenders, cut into 1½-inch pieces
- ½ onion, grated
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- 2 heaping tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1½ tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon for cooking
- Salt and pepper
Serve with either pita bread or naan, some fresh greens (I prefer arugula), and chopped tomatoes.
- First, make your tzatziki: Lightly salt your cucumber. Allow to sit in a colander for about ten minutes, then place paper towels and wring dry.
- In a large bowl, combine all of your tzatziki ingredients. Stir well to combine, adding more yogurt if necessary and seasoning well with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Now, for the chicken: In a gallon size Ziploc bag, mix together your yogurt, onion, saffron, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons olive oil.
- Add in your chicken, close the bag and shake to coat. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least half an hour. You can, however, allow it to marinate overnight.
- To cook your meat: over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Add your chicken and allow to cook for about 2 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for one additional minute. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet and place under the broiler until just starting to char.
- To serve: Heat your naan or pita. Top with some lettuce, a few pieces of chicken, the tomatoes and some of the tzatziki.