Chicken/ Lunch

Chicken Gyros

November 13, 2021 by Chris Collins

These Chicken Gyros are easy to make and loaded with so much flavour. Once you start, you’ll never stop making them!

Gyros (pronounced ‘yee-ros’) are probably up there with not only my favourite Greek food of all time, but one of my favourite dishes in general. You’ve probably seen gyros with a range of different meats (pork, lamb, beef), but today we’re using chicken. Whilst they might look daunting to make, they’re actually incredibly simple. There’s a few tips and tricks to making the perfect chicken gyro and today that’s exactly what we’re discussing. Follow me…

overhead shot of 3 chicken gyros wrapped in brown parchment paper

Chicken Gyro Meat

You might have seen gyros with shaved meat. Whilst that’s arguably more authentic, today we’re going to mimic that by grilling up some chicken thighs.

Pounding the chicken

Pounding the thighs is an extra step, but it’s a step I highly recommend taking. This will not only tenderize the meat, but it’ll also ensure the thighs cook more evenly. To pound the chicken all you need is cling film and a rolling pin, mallet or even a heavy pan!

Chicken Gyro Seasoning

This is where we really want to pack in the flavour. My favourite seasonings to use are oregano for that classic Greek flavour, smoked paprika to bring out the smokiness in the char from the grill, and some ground coriander just to deepen the flavour. I also add in a good helping of fresh garlic. I’m telling you, the smell of your kitchen as these cook is going to be incredible!

Chicken Gyro Yogurt Marinade

Some recipes use an oil based marinade, however I much prefer a yogurt based marinade. Not only will the yogurt help tenderize the meat, but I find it helps bind the oil, lemon juice and seasoning. I recommend marinating the chicken for at least 4 hours.

Process shots: rest chicken on chopping board (photo 1), lay over cling film (photo 2), pound to even thickness (photo 3), add marinade ingredients to bowl (photo 4), add chicken (photo 5), combine, cover and marinate (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to prepare chicken gyros

Grilled Chicken Gyro

A griddle pan is perfect for cooking the chicken because it allows you to pick up a nice bit of char. You also get those fancy grill marks too which is always nice! If you don’t own a griddle pan (or a BBQ), then try and find a heavy bottom pan like a cast iron skillet. Regular pans will work, you just might not get as good of a char.

Can I use Chicken Breast instead?

Chicken thighs are fattier and juicier than chicken breast, meaning they can withstand much higher heat before drying out. Chicken breast isn’t great for this recipe because it dries out by the time you get it charred on the outside.

One other thing to quickly mention is I recommend bringing the thighs close to room temp before frying, just so they cook evenly and don’t go chewy.

Process shots: add chicken to hot oiled griddle pan (photo 1), fry both sides until lightly charred and cooked right through the centre (photo 2).

2 step by step photos showing how to cook chicken gyros

Chicken Gyro Fillings

These will vary somewhat from recipe to recipe, here’s exactly how I like mine:

  • Flatbread (or pita bread) – I prefer flatbread because it’s more pliable. You can also make your own Flatbreads if you fancy!
  • Tzatziki – An absolute must! Homemade Tzatziki recommend.
  • Tomato and onion – You could also add romaine lettuce, cucumber and parsley, but I find just tomato and red onion is perfect.
  • Chicken – Sliced into thin strips.
  • Fries – These are optional (yet so necessary). Here I’ve added some Homemade Greek Fries!

4 step by step photos showing chicken gyros fillings

close up shot of 3 Greek chicken gyros on wooden board

Serving Chicken Gyros

This recipe will offer 4 large gyros if you’re using big flatbreads, or 6 smaller ones. You might find depending on the size of the flatbread they’re quite tricky to roll. To be honest it’s more of a fold, and some parchment paper can help you with that.

These are pretty hearty by themselves (especially if you’re adding in the fries!) so I don’t tend to add any Sides, but you can if you want to go wild!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these chicken gyros shall we?!

overhead shot of hand grabbing chicken gyros with 3 others in photo

How to make Chicken Gyros (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of 3 chicken gyros wrapped in brown parchment paper

Ridiculously Good Chicken Gyros

These Chicken Gyros are easy to make and loaded with so much flavour. Once you start, you'll never stop making them!
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Servings (click & slide): 4 - 6
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Greek
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 316kcal
Cost per serving: $3 / $4

Equipment:

  • Rolling Pin & Cling Film (for pounding chicken)
  • Griddle Pan & Tongs (see notes)
  • Medium Sized Mixing Bowl (for marinating)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Parchment Paper (to wrap and serve)

Ingredients (check list):

Chicken Marinade

  • 1.3lb / 600g boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/4 cup / 60g Plain Greek Yogurt, or other plain yogurt (preferably full fat)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced/finely diced
  • 1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp EACH: Ground Coriander, Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Gyros

  • 4 large or 6 smaller Flatbreads, or Pita Breads
  • 4 heaped tbsp Tzatziki, or as needed
  • 2-3 Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small Red Onion, finely sliced
  • Greek Fries, or regular fries (optional)

Instructions:

  • Pound Chicken: One by one lay a chicken thigh on your chopping board, rest over cling film and gently pinch around the edges. Pound with a rolling pin until even thickness, but not so thin it starts breaking apart. Repeat with remaining thighs.
  • Marinade: In a medium sized mixing bowl combine yogurt, 1 tbsp olive oil (save other 1/2 tbsp for later), lemon juice, garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, ground coriander, salt and black pepper. Add in the chicken thighs and mix to combine.
  • Marinate: Tightly cover the bowl and pop in the fridge. I recommend 4 hours+ (up to 1 day), with a minimum of 2 hours. Take out the fridge around 30mins before needed, just so you're not frying cold chicken.
  • Grill: Brush a griddle pan with the remainder of your oil, adding more as needed to lightly cover the base of the pan, and bring to medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs (work in batches if you need) and leave until they begin to char (4-5mins), then flip and continue frying until charred on the second side and piping hot through the centre. Place to one side to rest and slice when needed. Timings will depend on thickness and size of thighs.
  • Serve: Spread flatbreads with Tzatziki, then top with onion, tomato and sliced chicken. Add fries (optional) then roll up and enjoy! You might need to tightly secure with parchment paper if there's a lot of filling.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Do I have to pound the chicken? - Pounding the chicken tenderizes the meat and allows it to cook more evenly. It's a step I definitely recommend taking. However, if you're short on time you can chuck the thighs straight into the marinade. Just make sure the thickest part is piping hot when you grill.
b) Can I use Chicken Breast? - Chicken breast isn't great for this recipe. Chicken thigh is much fattier and juicier, so it can take the high heat and give you a nice bit of char. Chicken breast usually dries out by the time it's charred.
c) Griddle Pan - This is what's gonna give you a good bit of char, which in turn offers a more authentic flavour. If you don't have a griddle pan try and use a heavy bottom pan like a cast iron skillet.
d) Fillings - Tzatziki, tomato and onion are must haves, fries are encouraged but you could serve them on the side. Other common fillings are cucumber, romaine lettuce and parsley, but personally I don't find these necessary.
e) Calories - per gyro with no fries. 4 in total with large flatbreads:

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Ridiculously Good Chicken Gyros
Amount Per Serving
Calories 316 Calories from Fat 118
% Daily Value*
Fat 13.11g20%
Saturated Fat 3.361g17%
Trans Fat 0.032g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.18g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.375g
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 827mg34%
Potassium 611mg17%
Carbohydrates 15.68g5%
Fiber 1.8g7%
Sugar 4.35g5%
Protein 32.86g66%
Vitamin A 977IU20%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

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