I happen to love gyros. I have spent a great deal of time trying to master making an authentic version in my own abode. However, I can’t seem to find lamb for less than 1 billion dollars per pound. My husband’s a teacher y’all. I can’t be buying lamb willy-nilly for that price.
So I decided to do a little experiment. I made gyros with chicken instead of lamb! Crazy right? Chicken gyros. It’s very cutting edge.
Now I’ve seen recipes that basically take cubes of chicken, marinate them, grill them and slap them in a pita. Those are good, but they aren’t gyros!
I wanted the crispy edges of the thinly sliced meat. I wanted the flavor packed into the meat. I wanted a real (but with chicken) gyro. In my own house, with in my jammies and for less than the national debt of Bermuda.
The biggest barrier(s) is that chicken doesn’t have much fat, and that it’s pretty bland. To deal, we add bacon. (It is best if you don’t used a smoked version, the smoked flavor may overpower everything else, but do what you gotta do.) Then we add a punch of flavor with onion, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano.
To begin, throw chicken, bacon, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and oregano into a food processor.
Pulse that in the food processor until it makes a really lovely looking paste. Sorry. It isn’t that appetizing in the beginning stages. But be patient. It will get better. At some point.
Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and press the chicken mixture firmly into the loaf pan. Use the back of a wet spoon to smooth it out.
Bake it at 300 for about 45 minutes or until the center measures 160.
Remove it from the pan and drain off any juices. Again, you will end up with a tasty looking chicken loaf. Let it rest covered at least 15 minutes, or you can make it the day ahead and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it.
Slice the loaf thinly and place those slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Slip under the broiler set to high, turning the pan as needed until the meat turns golden brown and crispy. Don’t over cook it! It should still be shimmery. If it looks dry, you overdid it. This is where the crispy edges will come.
Ahh! All of of a sudden it doesn’t look so disgusting right? You want to eat it now, right? You can’t wait to try this recipe now, right?
Next you assemble like normal. (I have included a simple tzatziki sauce recipe. Feel free to use your own if you have one you love.)
Warm up your pita, layer it up with the meat and tomatoes and tzatziki and onions if you like. Wrap it in some foil and do a little jig.
OH MY! You’ve done it. Homemade chicken gyros
While I was setting up to take photos of the gyros, I ran downstairs to get something. I came back upstairs to The Stronman staring at the beautiful gyro. He looked up and asked, “Is this some sort of trap?” I’m sure glad he didn’t eat it before I got photos. That would have caused a teensy bit of marital disharmony!