Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Greek Repast


I saw some Chicken Gyros at Annie's Eats a couple weeks ago and I've been patiently waiting to try them. My kids were actually very anxious to try them also (a good anxious, not nervous anxious). So I put them on the menu last week and they were a huge hit. My kids all enjoyed them, I enjoyed them, and my husband positively enjoyed them, declaring the dinner to be in the "Top Ten" ever.

This was a very easy recipe also, especially since I subbed the strained yogurt with 2 % fat Greek yogurt. I've told you how much I love Greek yogurt, and it was a beautiful thing in the tzatziki sauce -- it was rich and creamy, but melted over the hot chicken and became part of the meat and bread. Yum! I made only one change to Annie's recipe. I sliced the chicken into strips (my chicken breasts were very large and I sliced each into about 8 slices) and marinated them that way. I think more surface area for the marinade made them super tasty and they were easy to serve because I didn't have to slice the breasts at the last minute. I grilled them, which made for easy clean-up.

I also had this Greek Salad from the Mennonite Girls on my list of recipes to try, and so I made it with the gyros. It was a good match. I modified it just a tad.

Chicken Gyros

For the tzatziki sauce:
16 oz. low fat plain yogurt (or use Greek yogurt and skip the straining steps)
1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

Pita bread
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin

To make the tzatziki sauce, strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl. Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible.

Shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. (If desired, slice chicken breasts into 1-inch strips). Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler (or on the grill). Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. If using whole breasts, cut into strips.

Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

Greek Salad

1 bunch romaine or loose leaf lettuce, chopped
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c chopped green onions
12 pitted ripe olives
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/3 English cucumber, sliced
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1/4 c fresh chopped basil

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

zest of one lemon

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Shake dressing ingredients in tightly covered container. Toss salad ingredients.
Pour dressing over top and toss to coat.



Amy Caroline said...

Wow, these look so yummy! I can't wait to try them!

Sara said...

I was going to say the same thing!

Tonight we have chicken in buttermilk brine on the menu. Hitch is cooking.