I used to live down the street from one of those authentic, hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurants with the best gyros around. I’ll admit that I often visited the restaurant multiple times during the week (and then complained about eating too much). Although my chicken gyros can’t compare to the ones with meat cooked slowly on a vertical spit, I must say that these are still pretty good.
If you have time, I would recommend grilling the chicken. It really adds wonderful flavor. If using a charcoal grill, place all of the hot coals on one side of the grill. This creates a hot side and a cool side. Add a little cooking spray to the grate and place the raw chicken on the hot side of the grill. Since chicken doesn’t have much fat, you will need to watch the chicken closely so it doesn’t burn. Sear each side of the chicken, then move it to the cool side of the grill to finish cooking. I use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (FDA’s recommendation). If you don’t have one, get one. It’s a great tool that not only makes sure your meat is at the correct temperature, but prevents overcooking too. Overcooked chicken is dry chicken. We don’t want that.
Also, don’t forget to scroll all the way down for my homemade pita bread recipe, you can’t make chicken gyros without it!
And finally, no gyro is complete without tzatziki sauce and you can find the recipe here.
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- drizzle of olive oil
- In a small bowl, warm the water to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (just above body temperature). Add the yeast to the water and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Pour the yeast and water into the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Slowly add the flour, salt, and olive oil while kneading the dough. The dough should be tacky, so you may not need 3 full cups of flour. It's better to have too little flour than too much (you can always add more later). Knead the dough in the mixer until it is smooth, about 5 minutes. Brush a little olive oil over the dough, cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured working surface. Cut the dough into 6-8 pieces. Using a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a circle about ¼ inch thick. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil into the skillet before adding the disks of dough. Cook the pita for about 30 seconds or until bubbles start to form. Flip the dough over and cook for about a minute, until lightly browned. Flip the dough back over and cook for another minute, until the pita puffs up. Remove from heat and cover with a clean dish towel. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
- 1½ lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
- 3 tbsp greek yogurt
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- ¼ cup green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup tzatziki sauce
- 6-8 pitas
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- First, prepare the chicken marinade. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the greek yogurt, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano. Place the chicken into a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then discard the marinade.
- Cook the chicken in a skillet or grill over medium-high heat until done. After cooking, slice the chicken into strips and set aside.
- Top the warm pitas with chicken, olives, tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, and onion slices. Enjoy!