The definition of a Gyros, is meat carved from a vertical rotisserie. This recipe teaches you how to emulate that delicious chicken that you might find at high end Kebab shops, like The Athenian, in your own home.
It is emulated using a large baking potato and some wooden skewers, and the results are incredible. Juicy, flavoursome and tender chicken packed full of greek herbs and spices is what you’ll get. Read through the recipe carefully and follow it to the letter and we guarantee it’ll change the way you’ll want to cook chicken forever.
Traditional Greek herbs and spices are Cumin, Cinnamon (in both sweet and savoury), Oregano and Basil to name but a few – if you want to find out more on traditional Greek food and ingredients do check out the incredible website called www.thegreekfood.com. These are abundant in this recipe to really bring the flavours of Greece to your home kitchen. We are not saying this is totally authentic, but what we are saying is that it’s bloody fantastic and tastes incredible.
It’s very difficult to emulate a rotisserie in your own kitchen unless you’re lucky enough to have one – with that said, there are new products on the market that you can fit in your oven that actually rotates the meat for you – CRAZY! But this recipe shows you how to do it in your own home with typical household items. Potatoes and skewers. The potato acts as the base and keep the tower sturdy (onions are often used, but they turn to mush and provide no support) and the skewers keep the chicken upright and allow the air/heat to circulate around during the cooking process. This means it’s possible to somewhat achieve that typical Gyros-esque texture and flavour.
Ensure the skewers are long and thick to provide that much needed support, because as the chicken cooks it shrinks and tightens up – this means the tower is more likely to fall over. Another top tip for keep the chicken upright is to use an oven rack. Poke the tops of the skewers through the wire rack to add more stability – it will only prevent the tower from toppling one way, but it definitely helps from our tests.
One of our favourite things about this recipe is that it’s healthy. Yoghurt, spices and chicken (can use breast) plus a little oil (which you could omit). It makes enough for 4-6 servings depending on your portion size and how hungry you are, which means it’s perfect for meal prep. Given it’s January, we’re all feeling sluggish from over indulging during the festive season, and wanting to eat better food, this is a recipe that should be tried. It will change the way you look a healthy food.
Easy Greek Chicken Gyros
- Long Skewers x2
- Baking Tray
- Large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon / spoon to mix with
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping Board
- Non-Stick Frying Pan
- Meat Hammer / Rolling Pin (for breasts)
- Meat thermometer (optional, but really useful)
- 5-600 g Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breasts
- 1 Large Baking Potato must be a large potato
- 100 g Greek Yoghurt must be pourable, add more if required
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Dried Basil
- 1 tsp Dried Dill
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Salt
Prepare The Chicken
- On a clean cutting board and with a sharp knife, trim the chicken of any excess fat, gristle, bones or skin.
- If using Thighs, keep them whole and leave them as is. If using breasts, butterfly them and give them a little pound with a meat hammer or rolling pin to tenderise. Each breast should now be in two pieces.
- In a dry non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, toast the spices for about 30 seconds - or until the begin to smell extra fragrant. Do not over toast.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yoghurt, olive oil, salt and spices together until evenly mixed.
- Add the chicken to the mix and ensure each piece is thoroughly coated, best done using a wooden spoon.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the firdge for at least 30 minutes. If you can, leave for 24hrs as this produces the biggest flavour and the most tender meat.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 Degrees (fan assisted).
- Slice a baking potato lengthways so you have two large oblong slices which are about 1 inch thick. This will be the base for the "tower".
- In the centre of each potato slice, poke a skwer through until it is flush with the bottom side. The thicker the potato, the sturdier the tower (they have a tendancy to fall over). The remaining potato can be added to the pan to be cooked and eaten alongside the chicken.
- Place the potato skewers side by side on a baking tray. Cover with a little oil.
- Skewer the chicken so both skewers go through. Ensure the skewers are not stretching the chicken too much, as the chicken will shrink during cooking. This prevents it from becoming unstable.
- Once all the chicken is skewered and the tower is sturdy, place in the centre of the oven. TOP TIP - use an oven rack to keep the tops of the skewers in place.
- Bake the chicken uncovered for about 20 mintues, or until golden, brown and some crispy bits have formed. Cover the tower lightly with foil and then resume the baking process for a further 40 minutues or until the inner temperature of the chicken has reached about 80 degrees for Thighs or 70 degrees for breasts (timing will vary - take off roughly 15 minutes for breasts).
- Once cooked to the right temperature. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 mintues. Carve using a sharp knife down the chicken tower, just like the Kebab shops! Enjoy with Rice, salad or make your very own kebab.
- Cut the potato slices at least 1 inch thick to avoid the tower falling over.
- Ensure you're using a large baking potato.
- Use long, thick skewers to ensure a stable tower
- Marinate for as long as possible. The yoghurt tenderises the chicken the longer it's left.
- Toasting the spices really brings out the flavour.
- Use an oven rack to add more stability to the top of the tower.
- Full fat yoghurt will taste better.
- Use a meat thermometer to accurately tell you if the chicken is done.