Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chicken Gyros

I missed the chicken gyros that I used to get at the North Market in Columbus so much that I set out to recreate them at home. It is actually not very hard; it’s just a two step process, so allow yourself time. They are delicious!! And great to serve to friends because most of the work is done ahead of time.

1 large shallot
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can use ground chicken if you like)
2 tablespoon freshly, chopped parsley
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
Garlic powder, approximately 1-2 teaspoons
½ to ¾ teaspoon dry oregano
½ to ¾ teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to your taste)
1 teaspoon cracked pepper

Place shallot into the work bowl of a food processor and chop until very small. Add in the chicken breasts and process until pretty smooth. Then add in all the rest of the ingredients and process just to incorporate.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C or 400F. Take a teaspoon of the mixture and microwave it for 30 seconds, then taste it to make sure that the seasoning is how you want it. It should be very full-flavoured. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Spray a meatloaf pan with non-stick spray, or rub with oil. Spoon the chicken mixture in, cover with tin foil and bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes. You will be cooking this again, so don’t worry if it seems like not long enough cooking time.

Remove from the oven, drain and wrap it in foil. Place it back into the loaf pan and stick a brick or some heavy cans on the chicken loaf, in the pan. Allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator while weighted-- this will take a few hours but can be made the night before. This step will achieve the proper texture of the gyro.

When you are ready to eat: unwrap the chicken loaf, slice very thin slices and sauté over medium high heat in a bit of oil. This is to heat them through, crisp them up and get them tasty!!

Serve in wraps or pita bread with Tahini dressing (recipe follows) and (what is really good) layering the meat with coleslaw-- if you haven’t got any, use tons of fresh veg, like cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and onions.

Tahini Dressing
1 small container plain, fat free yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini paste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
A good pinch of salt

Mix everything together, taste for seasoning and lemon juice, re-season if necessary and save in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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