weeknight gourmet

It's Greek to Me! Chicken Gyros with Cucumber Salsa & Tsatsiki

Taste: ***
Difficulty: Easy
Cleanup: Quick

Tim and I enjoyed a taste of Greece tonight.  The meal was a great combination of homemade — cucumber salad and tsatsiki — and store-bought — pitas and a rotisserie chicken.

Ever since our trip to Greece in the summer of 2006, I have loved tsatsiki!  This was my first attempt at making it myself.  I used an English (seedless) cucumber and added an extra clove of garlic giving it some real zing!  We were more than happy to share an extra pita at the end of the meal to mop up the leftover tsatsiki.

The chicken and pitas were jazzed up with a garlic-herb oil.

We piled our pitas with the tsatsiki, chicken, and the cucumber salsa!  Overall a very flavorful meal, the required nothing more than some chopping.

Chicken Gyros with Cucumber Salsa and Tsatsiki
Gourmet Magazine

  • 2 Kirby cucumbers, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (3/4 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 rounded teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 rounded teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1 (12-ounces) package naan bread (four 8-inch pieces)or 4 (8-inch) pocketless pita rounds
  • 1/2 roast chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded (about 2 1/4 cups), and carcass reserved for stock
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced

Preheat broiler.

Peel and grate 1 cucumber, then squeeze it with your hands to remove excess water. Stir together with yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, one third of garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to make tsatsiki.

Cut remaining cucumber into 1/4-inch pieces and stir together with tomatoes, onion, parsley, mint, remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to make salsa.

Gently simmer oil, oregano, rosemary, remaining garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small heavy saucepan, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss chicken with 3 tablespoons garlic oil and brush one side of bread with remainder.

Heat bread, oiled side up, in a 4-sided sheet pan, covered with foil, 3 to 4 inches from broiler 3 minutes. Uncover and broil, rotating bread for even coloring, until golden in spots, about 2 minutes.

Spread some of tsatsiki on warm bread and top with chicken and some of lettuce and salsa. Serve remaining lettuce, salsa, and tsatsiki on the side.

Note: The tsatsiki can be made a day ahead and chilled.

 

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