Chicken Gyros Kebab
Updated: Sep 27
A long time ago in Krakow, there used to be that place where you could buy Gyros Kebab served in the hollow pitta bread. It is one of those that you start shovelling with your fork and halfway through you grab it with your hands.
Delicious grilled chicken in the very characteristic Greek spice blend, crunchy salad with gherkins, loads of garlic plus special homemade fermented pepper sauce. I tried to recreate that dish and without a shadow of a doubt, I succeeded.
The spice blend you can prepare in advance and store it in the jar. These ingredients should give you enough to make this recipe twice, just remember when using fresh herbs use them straight on the chicken to marinate instead of blending with spice to extend the shelf life.
Ingredients for Gyros spice blend:
1tsp mild chilli powder
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp garlic powder
0,5tsp fenugreek (if not available just double mustard)
1tsp mustard seeds (I used mustard from the jar to marinate chicken instead)
1tsp dried rosemary (I used 3g (0.3oz) of fresh)
1tsp dried thyme (I used 3g (0.3oz) of fresh)
Ingredients for the chicken:
3 chicken breasts sliced (640grams (22.5oz)) (you can also use thighs instead)
2 tbsp olive oil
half of the gyros spice blend
Ingredients for the salad and sauce:
1 medium white onion sliced
2 medium tomatoes diced (sweeter than better)
half of the small Chinese leaf thinly sliced
200g (7oz) of gherkins diced (I used Polish ones that are sweeter than sour)
150g (5.3oz) sweetcorn
150g (5.3oz) thick yoghurt
3 garlic cloves minced
Ingredients for Pitta bread:
320g (11.2oz) plain flour
100ml (0.1quart) milk (you can use water instead)
54g (1.9oz) melted butter
130g (4.6oz) yoghurt
1tsp baking powder
1. Toss the chicken in the olive oil and spice blend, skewer and leave it for minimum 30 minutes or marinate overnight (if you are using thighs, marinate for at least one hour).
2. For the salad soak the onion in iced water for a minimum of 10 minutes (this helps to make them more crunchy and removes some of the pungency). Mix all the salad ingredients together.
3. For the sauce mix yoghurt with garlic and mayonnaise.
4. For the pitta bread mix all the dry ingredients together then add all the wet. Mix and knead for around 10 minutes, until a smooth dough ball is formed. Rest for 30 minutes covered with bowl or clingfilm.
5. Heat the oven grill setting for 250C (482F) for at least 15 minutes (for the pitta bread you will need to heat bakers stone, cast iron pan or a tray).
6. Grill the chicken skewers in the oven for around 10 minutes then turn upside down and grill for another 10 minutes (place skewers in a baking dish). When ready take of the skewer and cover with tin foil to keep warm (thighs may need a little longer).
7. Divide the pitta dough into four and roll each one to a 15cm circle, then to a 20cm diameter, about 30mm thick (6-inch circle, then to an 8-inch diameter, about 1/8 inch thick).
8. Place the dough on to the heated oven tray with baking paper, stone or cast iron pan. Applying heat from the bottom and the top will create puffed pitta, watch it closely not to burn it, this takes around 2 minutes.
9. To serve cut or tear the hole at the top and stuff with salad, chicken and sauces (don't forget to pour some of that chicken juice inside).
You can prepare the chicken by pan-frying it and use the oven only for pitta baking.
I also like gyros chicken in a layered salad that looks amazing in a glass dish, especially if I don't have time to bake bread.
You can substitute homemade fermented not so hot pepper sauce with tomato salsa mixed with hot pepper sauce and ketchup.
If your pitta is not puffed, increase temperature or try to heat the oven for a longer time or roll pittas slightly thicker.
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