By Gabrielle. Photos and styling by Lindsey of Café Johnsonia.
Greek food! Our family loves Greek food. None of our kids have ever actually visited Greece, but somehow they still feel connected, knowing that Ben Blair and I have spent time there. Or maybe it has nothing to do with that, and they just love the food! Which would make sense, because it’s so dang good. When I’m thinking of Greek food, I imagine lemon and oregano, strong feta cheese, light, summery, cucumbers and tomatoes and yogurt. Then I imagine all those foods combined. It’s magic, I tell you.
I think it’s safe to say that gyros are the most famous of Greek meals — a classic sandwich, with meat cut from a spit, wrapped in a pita, and topped with tzatziki (yogurt sauce). Happily, gyros are easy to make at home. True, they will not be as authentic as the kind you’d get from a sandwich cart in Athens, but they sure hit the spot when I have a craving!
It’s nice to be able to toss everything into a pot, forget it, and let it cook slowly for a few hours until it’s time to eat. While the chicken is delicious on its own inside a soft pita bread, adding tzatziki makes it that much better. We like to serve our gyros with a simple Greek salad on the side. We use mixed baby greens and add some sliced cucumber, tomatoes, kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and a basic balsamic vinaigrette. For an additional side, roasted potato wedges cooked with lemon and oregano, or even potato chips, are great. If you’re serving a large group, you could also add a chickpea salad, fresh veggies and fruit.
And that’s it. A super easy summer meal that you can take with you to a park or eat it out on the patio.
Ready to get cooking?
Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice of 2 large lemons
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Lettuce, tomato, and lemon wedges, for serving
1. Combine the onions, chicken, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, or LOW for 4-6.
2. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed, before serving. It may need a little more salt and pepper.
3. Serve with tzatziki on pitas with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Add lettuce and tomatoes, if desired, or serve with a Greek salad on the side.
Makes 6-8 servings
Note: chicken breasts or thighs will work here. The thighs will be more tender after a longer cooking time. Chicken breasts will dry out more quickly, so a shorter time is better.
Tzatziki — see the Olive Us how-to video here.
1 large English cucumber
8 ounces Greek yogurt
8 ounces sour cream
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Peel and grate cucumber. Squeeze the cucumber with your hands to release the liquid. Discard the liquid. Don’t skip this step or the tzatziki will be watery.
2. Combine yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, and garlic in a bowl. Stir in the cucumber and serve.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups