Chicken Gyros

I was completely surprised by this meal.  I don’t know why, but I just didn’t have very high expectations for it.  Even more surprising was how much John loved it.  It’s funny how whenever I think he’s going to love something I usually just get a simple comment and a head nod.  But this meal brought raves from him.  Maybe he had low expectations as well.  In any event, this was a fabulous dinner, full of flavor and freshness – right on the money for a warm summer evening.  The whole thing came together very quickly, which was a huge bonus with two little ones running through the kitchen.  I had a toddler unloading the dishwasher onto the floor and a surly five year old making various demands while I pulled this dinner together…and somehow it still turned out great.

This recipe is a mish-mash of several different recipes from across the web.  I just couldn’t find a single recipe that I felt was simple enough and didn’t have a ton of ingredients that I needed to go get.  In this instance the only “specialty” thing I needed to add to my list was pita bread.  I can handle that.  And you can too, so definitely give this one a try!

Chicken Gyros
serves 4, two gyros each
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
16 ounces plain Greek yogurt 
1 lemon, juiced, divided
2 Tablespoons vinegar (any vinegar will work, I used red wine vinegar), divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
8 pieces of pita bread
1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
To make the sauce:
Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add half of garlic and saute for 30 seconds to one minute, until lightly browned.  Remove pan from heat and transfer garlic to a small mixing bowl.  Add yogurt, half of lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir well to combine and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make chicken:
Cut chicken breasts cross-wise into thin strips.  Place in a large mixing bowl and add remaining garlic, lemon juice, and vinegar.  Add in the oregano and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Let stand 30 minutes to let flavors come together.  (You could make both the sauce and chicken prep up to this point the night before and refrigerate until ready to cook.)
When ready to cook the chicken, heat remaining Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat (you can use the same skillet used for cooking the garlic for the sauce if making the same day).  Add chicken and marinade.  Cook until chicken is done and no longer pink inside, about 6-8 minutes for me.  Remove from heat.
While chicken is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush one side of each pita with a small amount of olive oil.  Place directly on oven rack until heated through, about 4-5 minutes.  
To serve: Place about 1/2 cup of chicken down the center of a pita.  Spoon sauce over top.  Add cucumber and tomato over sauce.  Serve immediately.  
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  1. kristurkow says

    I made this recipe last night and it was so simple, tasty, and healthy (we used whole wheat pita)! My husband suggested the additions of greek olives and feta cheese, which I know aren't traditional for gyros, but I agreed would be delicious. Thanks as always for sharing!

  2. Mommy Duck says

    wow!!! what a simple dish with big big taste!!! I love anything with lemon and vinegar. I always loved gyros but never knew what was in it. Thanks for such a simple and delicious recipe. 2 out 3 kids ate it up!! one of them I served just the chicken with rice… almost there. haha