Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gyro-Style Chicken Salad

Last summer, while visiting Nick and Beth, we ate at a small Greek diner that makes very yummy gyro's. Greg and I both thought we should try to re-create the flavors at home. After doing a bit of research on the gyro and Mediterranean spices, making this dish at home seemed really easy, and in fact, it is! Greg and I have been making this at least every other month since this summer - it's so flavorful, makes a large amount (left overs), and has a great variety of textures.

Well, a gyro is basically a sandwich with pita bread, often with tzatziti sauce. The fillings and type of pita vary a lot based on location. To make this, we picked the filling ingredients that sounded best to us, with no goal of making sure the dish was regionally correct to anywhere. We actually combined several regional gyro's for this recipe.

For this picture, we did forget one ingredient that made a huge flavor difference, feta cheese! We normally crumble a tsp or so for each serving. The extra saltiness really helps to bring the other flavors together. Must remember feta for next time. I'm also excited to use produce from our garden this summer! Hm, just picked tomatoes...yum!

Recipe: Serves 6-8
1.5 lbs chicken, cut into bite size pieces
2 large potatoes of 4 small potatoes
1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans - drained and rinsed
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, 2 tsp grated, the rest sliced into thin rounds
1 tomato, sliced in to rounds, then quartered
1 lg. white onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
salt & pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 dash cayenne pepper

-In a large pan, coat with EVOO and turn to medium heat. Add 3 cloves of garlic, minced. Add salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, parsley, ground mustard, cumin, rosemary, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper.

-Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and chickpeas. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stir often. You may have to turn the heat down to medium low. Add chicken, cook until chicken is done, again, stir often.

-While chicken is cooking, make the tzatziki sauce by grating 2 tsp of cucumber and one clove of garlic into Greek yogurt. Add a bit of black pepper, stir to combine.

To serve as a pita, spread yogurt sauce on the inside of a pita half, place tomato and cucumber slices inside, then a bit of crumbled feta cheese. Add chicken and potato filling. Enjoy!!!

To serve as a salad, mix chicken and cucumber slices in with chicken mixture. Drizzle with yogurt/tzatziki sauce, sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve pita triangles on the side. Enjoy!!!