Over the weekend, we took a trip to the beach. The surf and sand are great, but it’s lots of fun to walk the boardwalk too. I like the neat little shops and eateries all along the way.
When we stopped for dinner at a little food court on the boards, everyone else ordered the usual chicken fingers, buffalo wings, burgers, and fries. I opted for the Chicken Gyro, one of my favorite sandwiches. A gyro is a sandwich served on warm chewy pita bread filled with chicken (or beef), lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a cool, creamy yogurt sauce called tszatziki. Absolutely delicious!
Tszatziki sauce is a must on a gyro, but it’s also fantastic when served alongside a bowl of tortilla chips or next to crisp vegetables like carrots and peppers. It’s very easy to make but I recommend making the tszatziki sauce a day ahead of time. It’s one of those sauces that tastes better after the ingredients have had time to mingle.
This recipe calls for pressed garlic but don’t run out to buy a garlic press. (I own a garlic press but rarely use it because cleaning it annoys me.) I never bother pressing the garlic. The goal is to avoid chunks of garlic in the sauce, so just peel the garlic and use a microplane to grate it. You end up with that yummy garlic flavor but not large bits of garlic.
Though the Tszatziki Sauce is the star of this recipe, the grilled chicken rocks too! The thing that differentiates this chicken from the average piece of grilled chicken is the marinade. It creates moist and slightly tangy chicken breasts that taste fabulous. Trust me, you won’t want to skip the marinade!
Another fabulous thing to love about this sandwich is that it is easily customized. Create a sandwich that suits your personal tastes by tossing in yummy add ins such as chopped zucchini, scallions, olives, and feta cheese. If you don’t want meat, leave out the chicken and create a yummy vegetable gyro.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Place chicken breasts into a zip bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken outdoors or on stovetop until done. Allow the chicken to cool a bit and then slice it into strips.
Tszatziki Sauce (yields about 1¼ cups)
1 cup Greek yogurt (I use low fat.)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
½-1 teaspoon salt
½-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½-1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 cloves garlic, pressed
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
1 heart of romaine lettuce, shredded
1 large red onion, sliced thin
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped into bite size chunks
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 large pita bread rounds
Warm the pita in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Top the pita bread with chicken strips, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and tszatziki sauce.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.