Our Big Fat Greek Dinner

Hello everyone! It’s been way too long since I’ve done anything on my blog here, but I’m excited to be back and to begin sharing with all of you again. I’ll jump right into it with a subject very near and dear to my heart: food. I seriously love food so much. I’m one of those people who sits there eating breakfast and starts to plan out what I want to eat for lunch. My husband says if I’m cranky, I either need to sleep or eat…I don’t know if that says anything good about me. Ha! Anyway, we ended up having a full blown Greek feast and it was so gosh darn good. I’d been dying to try this chicken gyros recipe hoping to capture the flavors of one of our favorite little Greek dives to go to in the town we used to live. Boy did it deliver! It even came with a recipe for homemade tzatziki sauce. I also found this lemony Greek rice recipe to round out the meal. And, as an added bonus, this ended up being a really easy meal to whip up. So, lets get to it!

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Chicken Gyros

Marinade:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced (use 1 tsp for the tzatziki sauce)
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano in a large glass bowl or casserole dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the strips to the marinade, tossing to coat evenly. Cover the container and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

Once the chicken is done marinating, preheat your oven’s broiler. Shake off any excess marinade and lay chicken on a foil covered cookie sheet. Discard remaining marinade.

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Broil the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side. I noticed when I went to flip my chicken over that there was a lot of moisture, so I drained it off hoping the chicken would brown a little faster. This chicken is good enough to just eat on its own! I had to work really hard not to eat a lot of it while working on the naan.

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Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 (16 0z) container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and coursely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

While the chicken is marinating combine the yogurt, chopped cucumber, dill weed, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. This stuff is so good and it smells so fresh! This ends up making a lot of sauce, so I would either halve this recipe in the future or double the chicken recipe above.

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Lemony Greek Rice

  • 1 cup uncooked rice, not instant
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups chicken broth, hot or boiling

Begin heating the broth in a separate saucepan. I buy large jars of chicken broth granules and just boil the water I need and add the granules to it. It’s a lot cheaper than buying the boxed or canned stuff.

In another large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat and add rice. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring to ensure that the rice doesn’t brown too much. Add the salt and lemon juice and cook for a further minute.

Slowly add the hot broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, cooking the rice for 30 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. This rice is so flavorful and is extremely easy to whip up! I can’t wait to make it again!

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Now this is totally optional, but I decided to make my own naan instead of going out to buy pita bread since it always saves a buck to just make bread if I have the ingredients on hand. Naan is really more of an Indian type bread, but it worked well as a pita substitute.

Naan

  • 1 (0.25 oz) package active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper, optional
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

I nuked the water for one minute and then stirred it and the water together in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in milk, egg, salt, pepper (if using), and flour. Knead until dough is soft, smooth and springs back at your touch. Add more flour as needed to reach desired consistency. With bread recipes, the amount of flour they tell you to use always seems more like an educated guess than the actual amount you end up needing. It’s all about how the dough feels.

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If it sticks to your finger like this then you need to add more flour.

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Once it’s just about right then you’ll be able to press it and pull your finger away without it really sticking.

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Place dough in a well oiled bowl and allow to rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

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Now the original recipe said it should double in about an hour but whoever wrote it is a dirty liar. I’ve just learned over time that it typically takes longer than what the recipe predicts, so always give yourself plenty of time when making bread. One trick I’ve picked up is to put my oven on warm so it will rise a little faster.

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After it has doubled punch dough down and knead a little. Pinch off small balls of dough and place in well greased dish.

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Allow to rise for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Roll out dough balls into thin circles (sorry I didn’t get any pictures of this) and then either bake them in a 500 F oven on a cookie sheet or in a buttered skillet. They take approximately 3-5 minutes on each side in the oven.

Now assemble your gyros and enjoy your very own Greek feast. We certainly did 🙂

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