Chicken Gyro Recipe… nuf said.
Watch how to make awesome Chicken Gyros – the ubiquitous Greek chicken wraps are found all over Greece and Cyprus. It is a culmination of soft chewy pita, tender grilled meat, refreshing salad, tzatziki (yogurt mint dip) and a handful of fries all wrapped up in a soft flatbread ready to eat!
You get a lot of pork gyros but for my chicken gyro recipe I’ve gone for a chicken wrap version which works just perfectly when making at home, especially brilliant on the BBQ but just as fabulous under the home grill.
If you’ve ever been on a Greek holiday, whether that’s island hopping or just plonked yourself in a beach-front taverna in Cyprus you’ve probably found yourself gorging on a gyro, be it chicken or pork.
Gyros are found all over Greece, Cyprus and the Greek islands and are the epitome of Greek street food. Chicken gyros or pork gyros vary from place to place but the meat is usually cooked as souvlaki and shredded.
Street food is pretty ‘cool’ at the moment, but for those reading this recipe and have been around the block a few times (read: have travelled when you still had to use an internet cafe and twitter wasn’t invented) street food has always been where the real culinary delights were to be had. And one bite of a gyro you’ll know why the humble chicken gyro is the ubiquitous Greek street food.
..strolling along a cobbled street quietly content as you munch through a chicken gyro ignoring the stream of dribble running down your chin.
For the home cook I think these work best on a flat grill over charcoal, or under the grill in your kitchen (and is how I do them if it’s a quick mid-week dinner). I also have to recommend my no-yeast flatbread dough recipe – it’s just one of those recipes that is so versatile, from my chicken wraps to homemade pizza or my lamb flatbreads (aka lamb wraps).
Like most recipes there is a little work to go from good to great, but I promise you’ll be rewarded with the most more-ish There are a couple of parts to this recipe and I’ve slightly detoured from the hardcore authentic chicken gyro that I’ve eaten too many times.
What I’ve created is Theo’s version of a chicken gyro; I’ve included all the bits I love and a few more that I think should always be included and left out a few common elements. But that’s just me – you can freestyle this recipe as much as you want!
Top 5 tips to make the best chicken gyros – ever, period.
- Marinate your chicken. Preferably overnight, but if it’s a last minute job then just dip and grill.
- All about the extras. I’ve included melitzanosalata (which is the unpronounceable name of the Greek eggplant dip – or Greek aubergine dip depending in what hemisphere you live in). I can’t emphasise quite how delicious this dip is and if it’s any consolation – the name is harder to pronounce than the dip is to cook. So just make it. That’s an order 🙂 Your chicken gyros will be elevated from good to great instantly.
- Leave out the chips. Chips are notoriously found sneaking into a street food gyro, but I don’t add them. It’s not that I diet nor do I eat especially healthy in terms of calories and all that malarky. But I do try to eat fresh food made from actual ingredients opposed to things out of a jar or packet – that’s my version of healthy eating. And as much as I love chips I’ve left them out, to much carbs for my liking..
- Char your chicken skin. This isn’t a debate. Just ensure it is charred and crisp (if you must know it adds texture and flavour, honestly, it does).
- Final note on the the bread / wrap as this really makes a difference. If you can get some really good quality pita breads or thick wraps go for them, alternatively you could make your own two-ingredient flat bread which is totally simple to make and really is incredible tasting.
And if you do make these you’ve got to let me know how you get on! I love hearing how you guys do when you cook my recipes!
Chicken Gyro Recipe:
4 chicken thighs deboned skin on (1 pp)
Juice & zest 1/2 lemon
3 tbl olive oil
1 tbl smoked paprika
1 tbl ground all spice
1 red chilli chopped (2 if you want it HOT!)
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tbl dried oregano
1 or 2 gyros pp (you can use tortillas or make your own flatbread!)
1 red onion finely sliced
100g chopped fresh herbs (coriander and/or parsley)
Squeeze of lemon
Tzatziki or just Greek yoghurt
Melitzanosalata (Greek Aubergine/Eggplant Dip)
Chicken Gyro Method:
- Make two scores in the chicken skin.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, add the chicken thighs and leave to marinate for an hour or overnight in the fridge if you’ve got time. Tip: put it all into a plastic zip lock bag, manhandle it a bit to ensure every bit of the chicken is covered and then pop the bag into a bowl (just in case!) and into the fridge.
- The next day when you are ready to cook, prep all the garnish ingredients – I like to put all the different elements into little bowls so everyone can build their own gyro with whatever they want.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minute before want to cook it to just take off the chill.
- If you are cooking chicken on the BBQ place them skin side down straight over the coals. If you are cooking the chicken under the grill inside, get the grill as hot as possible and have the chicken thighs skin side up (so basically always start the cooking with the skin facing the direct heat).
- Cook the chicken until the skin has charred and started to go crispy – this will take about 10-15 minutes for both the BBQ and Grill – but keep an eye on it as that might vary depending on how hot your coals / grill is. Once fully charred turn them over and cook the other side for about 5 minutes (they will virtually be cooked through anyway).
- Once cooked, slice up the chicken thighs, place into a wrap and garnish with all the dressings and eat!