For any of you who have tasted aromatic chicken gyros in an authentic Greek restaurant, you’ll know how absolutely delicious and moreish it really is. The problem for us mortals is that the Greek Gods make their irresistible aromatic chicken gyros by slow cooking the marinated chicken thighs on a vertical rotating kebab skewer. I’m not sure about you guys and girls but this large cooking utensil is not something I have in my kitchen. Improvisation, therefore, is required. Cue, aromatic barbecue chicken gyros…
That’s right. Instead of purchasing an automated vertical rotating restaurant kebab pole, which would probably result in bankruptcy and getting divorced😉, I’ve simply skewered the marinated chicken and chucked it on the barbecue…
Well, there is a little more to it than that. C’mon, I’ll show you…
1. The order of preparation
This particular post is slightly different from some of my others in that it talks about a whole dish and not just the recipe of one part e.g. soy honey pork tenderloin or Chinese chicken thighs. This aromatic barbecue chicken gyros post explains not only how to make the chicken gyros itself, but also the pitta bread.
To this end, it is important that the preparation is done in order. First, there is preparing and marinating the chicken thighs. This is followed by preparing and cooking the pitta bread. Finally, whilst the pitta bread is being kept warm the aromatic chicken gyros is cooked on the barbecue.
On a secondary note, I have also recommended serving the gyros with fresh salad and tzatziki. From the salad perspective, I would suggest just going with whatever you like. I served some fresh tomatoes and made pearl barley and carrot salad which can be found by clicking the link.
For homemade tzatziki, I have a recipe I made and posted some time ago. Just click the photo on the right to find the step by step guide.
2. Prepare the chicken gyros and marinate
There are 3 key stages for preparing the chicken gyros. Firstly, making the marinade itself. Secondly, preparing the chicken thighs. Finally, there is the marinating itself.
a) Prepare the marinade
The gyros marinade is a mixture of many herbs and spices along with lemon zest and juice, and minced garlic. In addition to sea salt and ground black pepper, the spices required for the gyros marinade are paprika, cumin, ground coriander, dried mint, oregano and cinnamon.
With the spices gathered together, prepare the lemon by removing the zest and juice. Also, mince the garlic.
Once gathered all together and prepared, the marinade ingredients should be added to a mixing bowl.
And mixed all together.
b) Prepare the chicken thighs
If you have bought skinless and boneless chicken thighs then the only preparation needed is to trim any excess fat from the thighs themselves. This is an easy job and will only take a couple of minutes. If a little nervous about preparing meat then I recommend buying the thighs prepared.
If the bought chicken thighs still have their skin on and bone in then start by pulling the skin off. This is simple and the skin should just lift away from the meat. Following this, the bone needs to be removed. Again, this is not difficult. Just be careful with the knife. The main objective is to keep as much meat off the bone and on the thigh as possible.
I’ve found this great video detailing how to remove the bone from a chicken thigh. It’s well worth a watch…
Once the skins are off and bone removed just trim away any excess fat and the thighs are ready to marinade.
c) Marinade the chicken thighs
With the marinade made and the chicken thighs prepared simply add the thigh to the marinade and mix together such that the chicken is fully covered.
Now, cover this with kitchen film and leave for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight, or even 24 hours.
3. Prepare and cook the pitta bread
The pitta bread will take around 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours to prepare from start to finish. However, it can be kept warm when cooked and while waiting for the chicken. I recommend starting to make the pitta bread a couple of hours or so before you plan to serve the aromatic barbecue chicken gyros.
a) Gather the ingredients together
There are only 5 ingredients required for the pitta bread. Flour, yeast, sugar, oil and water.
b) Mix the ingredients together and form a dough
With the ingredients all together simply mix together and form a dough. If doing this by hand then add the dry ingredients to a bowl, make a well in the middle and then add the oil and water. Then mix by hand.
If using a mixer, just add the dry ingredients to the mixer and turn on a slow speed and slowly add the dry ingredients.
c) Knead the dough
The pitta bread dough needs to be kneaded for 8 minutes if doing so by hand. Otherwise, 5 minutes by a mixer. Once the dough is kneaded place in a greased mixing bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to prove for 1 hour.
After one hour the dough should have doubled in size.
d) Form the pitta bread
After the dough has finished proving, take it to a workstation and split into 4 equal sized pieces for large pitta bread or 8 pieces for small pitta bread. Now, roll each piece as thin as you can.
Cover the rolled dough with oiled kitchen film and leave for 20 minutes to rise.
e) Cook the pitta bread
With the rolled pitta bread rested heat large frying over medium heat and then add the pitta bread.
Cook the pitta bread on each side until it starts to colour. Once cooked, place in kitchen foil and keep in an oven on low heat until you are ready to serve.
4. Prepare and barbecue the aromatic chicken gyros
With the pitta bread keeping warm and the chicken thighs fully marinated just take the thighs and skewer 4 each on both sides of each thigh i.e. two skewers in each thigh with four thighs in each pair of skewers.
The aromatic chicken gyros are now ready to be barbecued. Note, however, that these beauties can equally be pan fired over a low to medium heat if you don’t have a barbecue to hand or its raining.
To barbecue, heat the barbecue to medium heat and place the chicken gyros skewers on to the barbecue.
The chicken gyros need to be constantly turned. “Gyros” is Greek for turn after all. Bet you didn’t know that, right?
The thighs will take approximately 20 minutes to cook but check they are cooked all the way through before serving. Chicken cannot be served raw so make sure they are properly cooked through.
And that’s all there is to it my barbecue buddies. Aromatic barbecue chicken gyros. Take them off the barbecue when cooked and slice ready to be placed in the pitta bread wraps. Perfect for a small family gathering, or for a large outside party. Just serve it with any salad you fancy, homemade tzatziki and plenty of pitta bread. Oh, and a few beers or glasses of wine. Fantastic for a summers day… Yum.
I do hope you enjoyed this post. If you’d like to be kept up to date with all of The Yum Yum Club’s new recipes just sign up for our newsletter at the top of this page. Otherwise, you can follow us on Facebook or Pinterest by clicking the link and then follow.
As always, many thanks for reading and until next time… Steve.
5. Nutritional values
6. Printable recipe
Aromatic barbecue chicken gyros. Healthy grilled chicken marinated in an array of spices. Serve in a homemade pitta with fresh salad and tzatziki. Yum! 😋
- 8 chicken thighs, skin and bone removed
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 2 cups strong white flour Metric 250 grams
- 1 tsp fast action yeast
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 fl oz room temperature water Metric 150 ml
First, the chicken must be marinaded. Gather all of the spices for the marinade.
Next, take the juice and zest from one lemon and mince the garlic.
Place the ingredients in a bowl.
Mix the ingredients together.
If the chicken thighs have their skin on and bone in then remove the skin and bone.
Add the chicken thighs to the marinade. Mix in and leave to marinate for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight.
2 hours before you plan to serve the aromatic barbecue chicken gyros gather the ingredients for the pitta bread.
Mix all of the ingredients together and form a dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes in a mixer or 8 minutes if kneading by hand.
Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Leave to prove for 1 hour.
Once proved split the dough into 4 equal balls (8 if you want smaller pitta bread) and roll out as thin as you can.
Cover the rolled dough with greased kitchen film and leave to rise for 20 minutes.
Once risen, and using a large frying pan, cook the pitta bread until they start to colour on both sides (turn as required). Place in foil and leave in a low heated oven until ready to serve.
Once the chicken is ready, skewer the thighs on each side. 4 thighs per skewer.
With the chicken skewered place on a hot barbecue and grill until cooked all the way through, turning frequently.
Now server with the pitta bread, fresh salad and homemade tzatziki. Oh, and beer and wine too! Yum!