I grew up in a little town that had a good sized fair every year. The one thing I remember about the fair was the gyros!! I have been looking for a good recipe for gyros since I got married but I HATE LAMB so that made it hard for me so I kind of gave it up. I went on a family vacation last year to California and stopped in this little town to get lunch. I was so excited when I seen a gyros place that proclaimed they had the best gyros ever. I had to give it a try. When I went to order they had 3 different kinds of meat (I think)lamb, beef/lamb mix, and chicken. I had the beef lamb mixture but my hubby was no way going to eat the lamb. IT WAS SOOO GOOD!!! SO back on the path I went to find "THE RECIPE". Well I found this one and gave it a try and I LOVED IT. My kids didnt like alot of the dressing but if you use a small amount or just ranch on theres it works out well.
*Note: Keep in mind this recipe requires straining yogurt which may take overnight and marinating chicken which will take 1-2 hours so plan ahead!
For the tzatziki sauce:
16 oz. plain yogurt (not fat free unless it is Oikos or Fage or another Greek-type yogurt)
1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded (I used 1/2 of an English cucumber)
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1 teaspoon red 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 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Soft wrap bread (or 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. (You won’t believe how much liquid drains from the yogurt – it makes the yogurt much thicker and creamier. If you want to splurge on Greek yogurt, like Oikos or Fage, you won’t need to strain it like this.)
Shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, red 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. 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. (I sauted them in a hot skillet.) Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.
*Makes enough chicken and tzatziki for approximately 4-6 gyros.