Chicken Gyro, Sliced Tomatoes + Tzatziki
Why we love it:
- 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1⁄3 bunch Fresh Parsley (chopped, even the stems)
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 11⁄2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly cracked, to taste)
- 6 ounces Plain Greek Yogurt (container sizes vary, if you find 7 or 8 ounces just use it all in the recipe)
- 1 pound Chicken Thighs, Boneless/Skinless
- 1 English Cucumber (washed)
- 4 Heirloom Tomatos (or whichever are the most delicious)
- 1⁄4 cup Pepperoncini (to taste, or other jarred, slightly pickled hot peppers)
- 1⁄2 cup Kalamata Olives (pitted, drained from a jar)
- 1 package Pita (pocketless pitas are great here, but anything similar will be ok)
1. PREHEAT OVEN TO BROIL
Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick silicone mat.
2. MINCE GARLIC
Mince the garlic cloves as finely as you can. A great trick is to mince for a bit, then when you have pretty small pieces, use the side of your knife to scrape the pieces across the cutting board, smashing them up into a paste. Scrape it back into a little pile and repeat the motion with the side of your knife. You could use a microplane to grate it or a garlic press.
3. MARINADE + SAUCE
Set out a medium bowl and a slightly smaller one. Place ⅔ of the minced garlic in the medium bowl and the other 1/3 in the smaller bowl. To the medium bowl, add, 1 Tablespoon dried oregano, 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar, and most of the chopped parsley (set aside a few Tablespoons for a final fresh garnish). Add 1 teaspoon of salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Then add 2 Tablespoons of yogurt to the medium bowl and whisk to combine the ingredients.
Scrape the remainder of the yogurt into the smaller bowl containing just a little minced garlic. If your yogurt container is larger than 6 ounces (some are closer to 7 or 8), just scrape it all in, the exact proportions of yogurt in this sauce won’t matter much and it’s less likely go to waste as a delicious sauce! Set aside.
Slice the chicken thighs into 1” wide strips. Add to the yogurt and slice mixture in the medium bowl. Turn to coat. This can be cooked right away or let it marinate for up to 2 days.
Lay the strips of chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the top of the oven, near the flame, and broil for about 8-10 total minutes, stopping to turn and check at least once or twice. The chicken is done when it’s nicely charred or blistered and cooked through - you can slice one in half to check.
*Of course, if you have a BBQ grill easily accessible, take it outside and grill this chicken! If easier, you could leave the thighs whole and slice them in strips after BBQing.
While the chicken is cooking, cut cucumber in half. Use the large holes of a box grater to grate half of the cucumber directly into the yogurt in the smaller bowl. Small dice the other half and set aside.
Into the bowl with the yogurt, whisk the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, and remaining olive oil - about 2 Tablespoons - until its combined. Set tzatziki sauce aside.
6. PREP GARNISHES
Slice the tomatoes into thin wedges. Optional - sprinkle with salt.
Slice olives in half - optional, they’re fine whole and you save a step.
Scoop out peperoncini peppers.
Heat the pita in the oven for about 1-2 minutes, it can be on still or turn it off and use the residual heat. Flip and adjust the pieces as needed so they’re evenly warm and soft. You don’t want to walk away and forget them, no crispiness needed.
8. ASSEMBLE + SERVE
Lay each pita down and spoon a line of sauce. Top with chicken. Garnish with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, pepperoncini, and maybe more sauce. Fold the edges in, tighter on the bottom than the top to get that classic gyro shape. Or just fold the sides in evenly for a more uniform shape. Serve as is or wrap the bottoms with parchment or foil to hold it together! (Foil is the easiest - lay the pita on the foil before assembling and you can use it to fold in the side and hold everything in place.)