With a few simple steps, you can make the most flavorful and delicious gyros and a homemade tzatziki sauce blanketed over the top loaded with garlic, dill, and cucumber that will have you wondering why you don’t make these every single week of the year. Pile a homemade or store-bought piece of naan or gyro bread with my Lemony Basil Chicken, the tzatziki sauce, and feta crumbles and you are guaranteed to be in food heaven!
I mean, it’s not like I can get a gyro in the wilds of the Upper Peninsula. In fact, I would have to drive hundreds of miles from here to find me a gyro. So, as usual in this house, we make the food we want to eat! And we WANT to eat this!!! Easily a family favorite, this recipe feels like drool-worthy decadence.
A couple things need to be made ahead to maximize the flavor. So, plan ahead a few hours and begin making the chicken and the tzatziki. I am using the recipe for Lemony Basil Chicken Breasts. I make it just as the recipe says except that I make them into tenders for the most possible flavor distribution and to make it easier to pile the chicken onto the bread later. So, cut 1 pound of breasts into strips and put them in a bag to marinate along with the following:
The juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tsp. dried or fresh basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. yellow mustard
Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
Let this marinate in the fridge for about 3 but no more than 5 hours. The lemon juice will start to affect the chicken after too long.
Next, chop 1/2 c. cucumber and put it in a colander over a bowl with a sprinkle of salt to allow the water to drain out and prevent a watery sauce. This should take about 15 minutes for the water to drain well.
Now, make the tzatziki by mixing the following ingredients in a bowl:
1 c. Greek yogurt
1/2 c. finely chopped and drained cucumbers
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced (1 T. or so)
1 T. fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill weed
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Let this sit in the fridge until ready to serve.
When it’s time to make the gyros, grill or cook the chicken tenders in a cast iron skillet until to temp (160-165 degrees) and then let them rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.
Heat the naan or gyro bread for a couple minutes on both sides in a dry, hot skillet to get a little char on the outside and heat through.
Now, assemble and serve! Bread, meat, tzatziki sauce, lots of feta, extra cucumbers, fresh tomato, fresh dill, red onion…YUMMMM!!!
- Lemony Basil Chicken:
- 1 lb. chicken breasts
- The juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried or fresh basil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp. yellow mustard
- Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 c. Greek yogurt
- ½ c. finely chopped and drained cucumbers
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely diced (1 T. or so)
- T. fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill weed
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- Additional items:
- Naan or Gyro bread
- Feta cheese
- Optional items:
- Fresh dill
- Red onions
- Marinate the chicken in a bag with the marinade ingredients for 3-5 hours.
- Chop the cucumbers and drain in a colander over a bowl, sprinkled with salt for 15 minutes to remove excess water.
- Mix Tzatziki ingredients well in a bowl and let chill.
- Grill or saute the chicken until cooked until 160-165 degrees. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Heat the bread to char and heat through in a dry skillet.
- Assemble the gyros with bread, chicken, tzatziki sauce, and feta. Add any additional loveliness such as fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, dill, and onions.