If I had to pick between never getting to eat Greek food again and only being able to eat Greek, I’d be living off of gyros for the rest of my life. No doubt about it. There is just something so wonderful about the perfectly complimentarily contrasting flavors or sharp garlic, sour lemon, herby oregano, and creamy yogurt that me swoon. No single dish encapsulates this melange quite as well as tzatziki, the Greek garlic cucumber yogurt sauce. My kitchen always has a jar of this stuff on hand, and it’s way better the second and third day. And there is nothing this sauce goes better with than some quick cooked marinated chicken. Throw all of that in a pita with some veggies and you, my friend, are set for an international culinary delight in less than half an hour. One of my favorite things about Greek food is the lack of pretense. If you like it extra garlicky, go ahead! Not too sour? Cut down on the lemon. Make this your recipe and I promise you’ll come back to it again and again. By marinating your chicken either the night before or in the morning that you want to eat it you get tons of flavor with minimal time and effort!
Greek Chicken Pitas in a Flash
For the chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
juice of one lemon (about 2-4 tablespoons)
1/4 cup olive oil
For the tzatziki:
1/2 of a large English cucumber
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 cups Greek yogurt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (you can use more or less to taste)
2-3 tablespoons white vinegar, to taste
To serve (all of these are optional):
red peppers, cut into thin strips
red onion, thinly sliced
- To make the tzatziki, grate the cucumber using a cheese grater. Sprinkle the cukes with the salt and rest this in a strainer placed in the sink. This is going to draw the water out of the cucumbers, which is very important. Otherwise you will have soupy watery tzatziki. Allow this to drain for 10 minutes while you prepare the chicken.
- Preferably the evening before or the morning of mix together all of the ingredients for the chicken. Cover and refrigerate to marinade. If you do not have time for this step cut slits in the meat, about halfway through, and rub with this remaining ingredients. Allow to sit in a bowl for at least 10 minutes.
- Press gently down on the cucumbers to encourage them to release the rest of the water. In a medium bowl mix together all of the tzatziki ingredients. If you are marinading overnight store the tzatziki in the fridge overnight as well to allow all of the flavors to develop. If using immediately you do not need to refrigerate this.
- To cook the chicken heat a cast iron or heavy skillet on high heat until hot. Place a thin chicken breast in and cook until browned on each side and cooked through out, about 6 minutes each side. Set the chicken aside and allow to rest while you prepare the pita and additional toppings.
- Slice the chicken into strips and stuff into the pitas with the other toppings of your choice. Top with the tzatziki and serve!