Chicken Gyros
Chicken Gyros
5 from 2 votes
Delicious and easy-to-make Chicken Gyros recipe. It's a wonderful blend of flavours, combining aromatic spices with fresh ingredients, wrapped in warm pitta bread. Perfect for those seeking a tasty, yet simple meal to prepare at home.
Chicken Gyros

The Chicken Gyros, a dish that captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine, holds a special place in the hearts of many food lovers. Its origins trace back to Greece, where gyros have been a staple street food for decades, known for their aromatic spices and tangy sauces.

The dish’s name, ‘gyros,’ derives from the Greek word for ‘turn,’ reflecting the traditional cooking method where meat is cooked on a rotating spit.

The beauty of Chicken Gyros lies in their simplicity and versatility. While traditionally made with lamb, chicken serves as a lighter and equally flavourful alternative.

This recipe is straightforward, making it an excellent choice for beginners in the kitchen. The key is in the marinade, a combination of classic Mediterranean spices like oregano, paprika, and cumin, which infuse the chicken with depth and warmth.

Variations of the Chicken Gyros recipe can be found across different regions. Some prefer adding tzatziki, a cucumber and yogurt sauce, while others might opt for a spicier version with added chili flakes or hot sauce.

The recipe presented here is a basic version, ideal as a starting point for those new to gyros.

This dish’s popularity has spread far beyond Greece, with each region adding its twist to it.

In some places, the gyros is served deconstructed, with the elements presented separately for a build-your-own experience. Elsewhere, chefs might add unique elements like feta cheese or roasted peppers to create a fusion of flavours.

The Chicken Gyros is not just a meal; it’s a celebration of simple ingredients coming together to create something extraordinarily flavourful.

The combination of juicy, spiced chicken with the coolness of Greek yogurt, the crunch of fresh vegetables, and the softness of pitta bread creates a symphony of textures and tastes in each bite.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting, this recipe promises a delightful culinary journey, inviting you to explore the rich flavours of Mediterranean cuisine.

Expert Tip: Marinate the chicken for at least an hour, or overnight if possible. This not only deepens the flavour but also tenderises the meat, making your gyros more succulent.

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Creating a Chicken Gyros dish is all about balancing flavours and textures, and each ingredient plays a crucial role. Let’s break down why these specific ingredients are selected for this recipe and explore some alternative options.

Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs are the ideal choice for gyros due to their juicy, tender texture. They absorb the marinade well, ensuring each bite is packed with flavour. As an alternative, chicken breast can be used for a leaner option, though it’s less moist.

Garlic: Garlic adds a punch of robust flavour, essential in Mediterranean cooking. It complements the chicken and spices beautifully. If fresh garlic isn’t available, garlic powder can be a good substitute.

Dried Oregano: This herb is a staple in Greek cuisine, offering a slightly bitter, earthy taste that enhances the other flavours. Fresh oregano is a great substitute, though it’s more potent, so use it sparingly.

Paprika: Paprika contributes a sweet and smoky undertone. It not only flavours the chicken but also gives it a tempting colour. For a spicier twist, try using hot smoked paprika.

Ground Cumin: Cumin adds a warm, earthy note and is key to the gyros’ distinctive taste. If cumin isn’t your favourite, coriander powder can be used as it also provides a warm, nutty flavour.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is used for marinating and cooking, adding a smooth, rich texture. It’s a staple in Greek cooking, but if unavailable, any neutral-flavoured oil like canola or vegetable oil will work.

Pitta Bread: The soft, slightly chewy texture of pitta bread makes it perfect for wrapping the ingredients. As an alternative, any flatbread or even tortillas can be used.

Greek Yogurt: Its creamy texture and slight tang balance the spices beautifully. If Greek yogurt is not available, regular plain yogurt can be used, though it may be thinner in consistency.

Cucumber, Tomato, Red Onion: These fresh ingredients add crunch and freshness, contrasting the richly flavoured chicken. Feel free to add or substitute with other vegetables like lettuce or bell peppers for a different crunch.

Mint Leaves: Mint provides a fresh, bright accent. If mint is not available, parsley or even a sprinkle of dill can be a delightful substitute.

Lemon Wedges: The citrusy zing of lemon juice when squeezed over the gyro right before eating brightens the whole dish. Lime can be an alternative, offering a slightly different but equally refreshing acidity.

Each of these ingredients contributes to the overall harmony of the Chicken Gyros, creating a dish that’s both satisfying and full of flavour. Feel free to experiment with substitutes based on availability and personal preference.

Expert Tip: When cooking the chicken, let it develop a nice sear without moving it around too much in the pan. This searing locks in the flavours and gives the chicken those desirable, slightly charred edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Prepare Chicken Gyros Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! The chicken can be marinated a day in advance, enhancing the flavours even more. Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Pitta breads can also be warmed up just before serving.

How Do I Keep the Chicken Moist and Tender?

The key is not to overcook the chicken. Cooking it on medium-high heat for just 5-7 minutes should do the trick. Also, using chicken thighs helps as they are naturally juicier than chicken breasts.

What Are Some Serving Suggestions for Chicken Gyros?

Chicken gyros can be served with a variety of sides. A simple Greek salad or some roasted vegetables make a great accompaniment. For a heartier meal, serving them with rice or potatoes can be delightful.

Can I Use Different Spices in the Marinade?

Certainly! Feel free to experiment with spices according to your taste. Adding a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg can give a unique twist to the flavour profile.

Is There a Vegan Alternative to This Recipe?

Yes, for a vegan version, you can substitute the chicken with grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms, or use a plant-based meat alternative. Use a dairy-free yogurt for the sauce to keep it vegan-friendly.

How Can I Store Leftovers?

Leftover cooked chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan or microwave before serving. Pitta breads should be stored at room temperature and warmed up before eating.

Expert Tip: For an authentic touch, squeeze fresh lemon juice over your assembled gyros just before serving. It adds a bright, zesty note that cuts through the richness of the meat and the creaminess of the yogurt.

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Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros

by Nabeela Kauser
Delicious and easy-to-make Chicken Gyros recipe. It's a wonderful blend of flavours, combining aromatic spices with fresh ingredients, wrapped in warm pitta bread. Perfect for those seeking a tasty, yet simple meal to prepare at home.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 4 Gyros
Calories 549 kcal

Ingredients

  • 500 g Chicken Thighs Boneles, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 tsp Oregano Dries
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • Salt And Black Pepper To taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Pitta Bread
  • 150 g Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 Cucumber Diced
  • 1 Tomato Diced
  • 1 Red Onion Thinly sliced
  • Mint Fresh leaves for garnish
  • Lemon Wedges For serving

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine the minced garlic, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add the thinly sliced chicken thighs to the bowl and toss them until well-coated with the marinade. Let the chicken marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken slices and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are cooked through and have a nice golden brown colour.
  • While the chicken is cooking, warm the pitta breads in a dry skillet or in the oven until they are slightly toasted.
  • In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt with a pinch of salt.
  • To assemble the gyros, spread a generous spoonful of Greek yogurt on each pitta bread. Add the cooked chicken slices, diced cucumber, tomato, and thinly sliced red onion.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
  • Roll up the pitta breads, enclosing the filling, and enjoy your delicious chicken gyro!

Notes

You can also add some hot sauce or tahini sauce for extra flavour.
Feel free to customise your gyro with your favourite toppings like olives or feta cheese.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.

Nutrition

Calories: 549kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 30gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 417mgPotassium: 562mgFibre: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 484IUVitamin C: 11mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 137mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Bread, Chicken, Cooking, Food, Pita Bread, Recipe
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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