Sunday, September 10, 2017

Chicken Gyro Salad

We can thank Smitten Kitchen for this beauty - crunchy romaine, fresh veggies, and flavorful chicken, all smothered in what is quite possibly the best tzatziki I've ever had.  (I make this tzatziki alllllll the time, as a general/all purpose veggie/cracker/bread/falafel/everything dip, as neither Rob nor I are huge hummus fans.)  Grab some garden-fresh, in-season cucumbers and tomatoes this week and whip up this fantastic salad!

YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, grated and squeezed dry in a dish towel
  • zest and juice of one lemon, divided
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane, divided
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 3/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 a medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced or diced (or 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded
  • 1 cup lightly-crushed pita chips

  1. Make the tzatziki: whisk together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, 2 tbsp lemon juice, vinegar, dill, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper until well blended.  Refrigerate.
  2. Make the gyro-style chicken: combine the remaining lemon juice, all of the zest, remaining garlic, remaining salt, remaining pepper, paprikas, and oregano in a quart-sized zip-top baggie.  Add the chicken and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible.  Through the bag, massage the seasonings into the chicken.  Allow to marinade for at least 20 minutes (the longer the better!)  Grill, broil, or roast the chicken.  Cool, and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Pack the salads: add 1/4 c tzatziki to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Reserve the remaining tzatziki for another use.  Layer the chicken, onion, tomato, sliced cucumber, and romaine in the jars.  Divide the pita chips evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with pita chips.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute store-bought tzatziki and rotisserie chicken for the homemade tzatziki and gyro-style chicken.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, substitute seitan, lightly pan-fried and cooled, for the chicken.  For a vegan salad, also substitute your favorite plain vegan yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth-lined colander overnight, for the Greek yogurt.  For a gluten-free salad, omit the pita chips.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

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