March 30, 2011

Chicken Greek Gyros

in a small rustic plaza on the shore of the erie canal in Pittsford, NY lies the 8th wonder of the world: Olives Greek Taverna.
i talk about Olives on here a lot, for a good reason: it is the best greek food i have ever beheld.
you all know about my crazy obsession with the country Greece itself, and its food just adds to the reasons of why i love it so much.
i have loved Olives for so long, and i have introduced so many people to it, and i have not met one person who does not love it.
i can't get enough.
i, of course, being a creature of habit, get the same thing everytime. 
Greek Fries, and a Chicken Gyro.
since Olives happens to be about 3,000 miles away, i crave it often and haven't found a place that even comes close to it.
Olives is like an escape, you walk into a candlelit taverna, where vintage light bulbs are strung across the ceiling and murals of Greece are splashed on the wall.
the smell of garlic and fresh pita bread overwhelms you and it's like you're seeing an old friend.
okay, so i'm obsessed right? it's a little weird.
since i won't be able to go back to Olives until July (i plan on going at least a dozen times over the 2 weeks that i'll be home this summer), i decided that it was time to take action.
so i found a Chicken Gyro recipe from Annie's Eats, and decided to try it.
it was the best dinner i have ever made, and my new favorite thing.
i felt like i was back in pittsford again, eating gyros with my bridesmaids and dangling our feet over the erie canal like we did the day before my wedding.
it was that great. almost tearjerkingly great.
i didn't have time to make my own pita bread, but i warmed the pita i had in the oven for two minutes at 400 degrees.
i adapted the recipe to make it a quick weeknight meal, and homemade tzatziki is delicious!

Olives Greek Taverna Inspired Chicken Gyros
adapted from Annie's Eats
Serves 4-5 (recipe can be easily split or doubled)

for the tzatziki:
*Note: the recipe i used said to use plain yogurt and strain it with a cheesecloth overnight. not only do i not own a cheesecloth, but i don't have the patience for that. i used greek yogurt, and it worked like a charm!
16 oz. plain greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
drizzle of olive oil
shred the cucumber (i used my food processor), wrap shredded cucumber in a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. mix together the greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, salt and pepper, garlic, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice. drizzle lightly with olive oil and combine. refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let flavors mix (the longer the better!)

for the chicken:
1 1/4 lbs. chicken tenderloins or breast, cut into pieces
4 garlic cloves smashed or minced
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 heaping tbsp. greek yogurt
1 tbsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped into small strips
combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper in medium bowl and whisk together until well combined. add chicken pieces to bowl of marinade and mix well to coat. cover and refrigerate for one hour.
cook chicken on grill pan, in a skillet, or in your oven, however you want!

To assemble:
heat pitas in oven at 400 degrees for two minutes. 
spread pita generously with tzatziki sauce. add chicken, red onion, and tomatoes on top, fold pita, and enjoy!


p.s. i'm so excited for the giveaway that i'm going to announce on friday, in my opinion, it's going to be awesome! i can't wait to give back to one of you lovely readers. :)


Emma said...

Oh my word I am so stoked to try this out! I love gyros!

Shelby Clark said...

Hayley Pingree! Oh my goodness! I LOVE Olives and I have a huge obsession with Greece too! You have no idea! Thane took me to Olives on a date when we were in New York! And we're already saving for our five year anniversary when we are going to Greece. I am so trying this recipe! I have a delicious hummus recipe you should try! And I have an amazing dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) recipe of my grandmothers. Also, if you are ever in Kansas City you have to go Mr. Gyros for Greek food.