Chicken gyros with creamy tzatziki taste just like your favorite takeout but can be made at home! Your family will love this meal.
Is it wrong to dream up imaginary errands just for an excuse to eat a delicious gyro from the stand down the street? Asking for a friend. Me? I'd never go to those lengths just for a food. A delicious, mouth-watering, you-want-to-lick-the-plate-it's-so-good food at that.
But just for argument's sake, let's say I were to pretend like I needed to go to Target again for something I "forgot" yesterday because when I go to Target, I pass right by the gyro place and pick up a chicken gyro or two, would you consider that a problem? I mean, it is kind of indicative of an addiction I suppose…
Okay it's me, I have the problem. And admitting it is the first step, right? So now that I've admitted it (to myself and all of my readers) let's just say that I'd been working on a way to make yet another one of my take-out favorites more healthy. Because, let's face it, most take out isn't good for you and is full of unnecessary fats and oils and there is most likely a better way to get to eat the foods you love without eating a bunch of extra junk.
It was with that in mind that I began testing at-home gyro recipes a couple of weeks ago. I tried recipes with beef, lamb, turkey, and chicken and all of them were delicious. However, if I were to pick a favorite, it would definitely be the chicken version, which I based off of one of Alton Brown’s recipes.
I only had to switch a few ingredients to get it to my tastes and to get the spices to balance out the chicken just perfectly. I think this meal is a real winner and everyone in your family will enjoy it. What's not to love about gyro chicken? Plus, there are at least a zillion ways to enjoy this flavorful, tasty meat, and none of them involve a pretend trip to the store.
Ways to Serve Chicken Gyros
This is my favorite part about this dish! How can I serve these gyros? Let me count the ways.
- The go-to for a gyro is a sandwich right? But not any ordinary sandwich! No, sir. I think it's a gyro imperative that you put this meat on some kind of big, thin pita bread or in a wrap. There's just something about eating it this way that makes it feel the most authentic. Pile on the condiments — I like pickled everything (cucumbers, red onions, jalapenos, you name it) plus a little taziki sauce or hummus, diced cherry tomatoes, and maybe some shredded lettuce and kalamata olives, too.
- If you want to make your gyro low-carb, use lettuce as the wrap or try one of the lower-carb versions of tortillas, flats, and wraps. All delicious.
- Make a salad with your gyro meat. I like to use finely shredded or chopped lettuce (any kind will do), then add all the typical toppings to bring out the Mediterranean flavor: all the pickled things, feta, kalamata olives, red onion slices, cucumbers, etc. then top with the taziki sauce as your dressing. I also like to add little pita wedges around the side of my salad. It makes me feel like I'm eating at a fancy restaurant.
- Make the chicken into meatballs. You'll still want to bake them at 325 degrees but not as long — you'll only need about 30 minutes to get those babies done. (Depending on the size of your meatballs, of course.)
- With the meatballs, I like to make sandwiches on hoagie buns, sliders, or stuff them into pita pockets. With all the toppings of course. If you're not into the typical gyro toppings, you can add whatever you like. I think these would also go good with shredded lettuce, a light mayo, aioli, or hummus. Goat cheese or Buffalo mozzarella make good substitutions for the feta if you're not a fan.
- Tacos, tacos, tacos! Use thin slices of the chicken gyro, meatballs, or any way you see fit to add the chicken into your tortilla or taco shell. Top with your favorite ingredients and bam! you have yourself a pretty zesty gyro taco.
What is gyro meat made of?
Traditionally, gyro meat is made with whole pieces of marinated pork or lamb that are stacked together, spiced, and then cooked on a rotisserie in its own juices. Then the meat is shaved off in thin slices from the large skewer and added right into a pita or another round bread.
Since most of us don't possess these large amounts of meat or any place to cook and store a whole rotisserie spit, I think cooking any ground meat in the oven on a sheet pan is a perfectly acceptable substitution.
What is chicken gyro meat made of?
Chicken gyro meat is usually made with chicken thighs and dark meat chicken since it will stay moist and tender on the spit. This version is made with ground chicken since it is the easiest way to mimic the thin gyro slices we are used to.
How long is gyro meat good for?
Like all ground meats, you can keep the raw mixture in the refrigerator for one to two days (so long as it's not already past its sell-by date). If you've already cooked the gyro, you can keep it in the fridge for three to five days. You can also freeze this (raw or cooked) in an airtight container and keep it for up to three months for best freshness.
How to make tzatziki?
Tzatziki the traditional Greek yogurt sauce that is served with chicken gyros. It’s made with yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and dill. Here is a simple recipe for making tzatziki at home.
- 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
- 1/2 English cucumber (or Persian cucumbers)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Directions: Grate the cucumber and use a paper towel or cheesecloth to squeeze out all the extra moisture. Make sure to squeeze out as much water as possible. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more.
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki
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- 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (or full fat)
- 1/2 U English cucumber
- 1 U clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 U lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1.33 lbs 99% lean ground chicken (or dark meat chicken)
- 1/4 cup onion
- 2 tsp marjoram
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 2 U garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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