Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros is healthier version of the classic Greek street food. The chicken, substituted for the lamb gyros meat, draws tremendous flavor from the yogurt-lemon-oregano marinade. The preparation is simple and leftovers are super easy because only the chicken needs to be reheated. The Tzatziki Sauce recipe makes more the enough for the 4-6 servings so you’ll have plenty left to use for a dip with baked pita chips or cut fresh peppers, celery and carrots.

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Chicken Gyros

Serves 4 – 6

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin

For Marinade

3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For Tzatziki Sauce

2 medium cucumbers
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For Salad

3 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
3 cucumbers, diced
1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

4-6 pita breads

To prepare the marinade: Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place chicken breasts in a large zip-top plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage and squeeze out as much air as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

To prepare the Tzatziki: Cut the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Coarsely grate the cucumber. Wrap the shredded cucumber in a large piece of cheesecloth and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Place the cucumber in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix to combine. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to combine, longer if possible.

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl.

Heat grill for medium direct grilling. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Cook until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

Warm the pitas. Top each with a generous amount of grilled chicken. Top with salad and tzatziki. Serve warm.

Cut the chicken into 1/4-inch thick slices.

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Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

If you like gyros you will love Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki sauce. This homemade Greek taste treat is unbelievably easy to make. If you have access to good quality ground lamb, Greek yogurt, and a hot grill, you are all set.

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Tip: Ample Bites uses four pair of leftover wooden chopsticks from carryout sushi for the skewers for the kabobs.

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Serve the kabobs with grilled fresh vegetables such as red onion, red, orange and yellow peppers, and zucchini.

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Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce
(Mark Kelly, 2013)

Serves 4

For Lamb Kabobs
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 large shallot, minced
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 whole wheat pitas

For Tzatziki Sauce
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
zest of 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Put yogurt, cucumber, garlic, hot sauce and lemon juice and zest in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Top with parsley and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Wrap pita in foil. Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the lamb, shallots, onion powder, oregano, rosemary, garlic powder, cumin, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Form meat around skewers, making eight equal oblong shapes. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the kabobs to firm-up.

Preheat grill to high.

Place foiled packet of pita on grill on a high rack. Brush the grill with oil. Grill the kabobs until charred on the outside and medium-rare on the inside. Turn to char all sides. Total cooking time about 6-8 minutes. To serve place one or two kabobs on each pita and drizzle with Tzatziki Sauce.

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