As part of our “Recipe Week”, we are sharing one of our most favorites… gyros! The key to keeping chicken juicy, and thereby making your gyro that much more delicious is high heat and time marinating. You can bake or grill depending on how much time you have for preparation. I personally like to grill. The chicken is easier to sear, and as we know searing locks in more of the juice and favor. This recipe is a bright, full of summer type favor. Great for those outdoor weekend family gatherings or really, just about any occasion.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
- 3 cups greek yogurt or whole-milk plain yogurt, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, grated
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely grated, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon of dill
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (or more if you like)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded cucumber
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, cilantro and/or parsley
- Pita bread or whole-wheat lavash works too.
- Lettuce leaves & sliced tomato for serving
Preparation time: 35 minutes (at the most).
Marinade: 15-90 minutes (or more).
- Combine 1/4 cup yogurt, onion, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves, coriander, cumin, allspice, pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt and turmeric (if you like use more) in a large bowl. Add chicken and rub the yogurt mixture into it. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes up to 3 hours.
- Do NOT cut the chicken into thin slices yet. Leave whole.
- Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Or my favorite is to fry or grill the chicken.
- For baking, arrange the chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet; discard any remaining marinade (unless frying or grilling then baste). Roast on the center rack until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°F, about 20 minutes. Move the baking sheet to the top rack and turn the broiler to high. Broil until browned in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes. Thinly slice.
- For frying or grilling make sure the pan or grill is super hot. Sear each side of the chicken for approximately 2-3 minutes (depending on heat and how you like it). This seals in the juice. Don’t overdo searing thinking you need to cook the chicken all the way through. That’s next. Adjust the heat to low, cover and cook for another 6-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. If grilling, turn the front burner to low and all the other burners off.
- Sauce. Peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and place something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel. You can skip this part if you don’t mind the cucumbers leaking water into your sauce making it a bit runnier.
- I prefer to slice and dice the cucumbers because I like slightly bigger pieces in my sauce than what a food processor or blender would provide. You choose. Add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper and stir in a bowl until well blended. Stir in yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. You can serve immediately, but favors will blend and become more pronounced with time in the refrigerator.
- Suggest lightly toast or heat your pita bread in a pan before adding ingredients.
- Add chicken, lettuce, tomato, and sauce. Try a bit of hot sauce or slices of jalapeno on top to add some heat. Enjoy with a cold one!