On Monday I went a little over the top with my Chicken Cordon Bleu-Croque Monsieur. To prove that's not how I always eat, I'm sharing a lighter meal that's perfect to enjoy any day of the week.
It's a good thing my favorite Greek joint in Atlanta is a trek from my house, or I just might go there every day (and that could get a little dangerous). Without fail I order the lamb gyro plate with a zesty salad and garlic roasted coin potatoes. It's the stuff dreams are made of. I love their flavors so much that I decided to create an easier homemade version to enjoy in between my visits.
A Bon Appétit recipe for an Indian spiced yogurt marinated chicken inspired the marinade. Their version uses a whole pantry's worth of ingredients and a blender; I cut it down to the bare necessities. The result is moist, tender chicken as good as any you'd find in a restaurant. I cooked the chicken in a garlic-oregano infused olive oil to amp up the flavors even more. My favorite part of this recipe, however, is the creamy "Greek" sauce. Instead of a traditional tzatziki (been there, done that), I used a riff on my favorite Alabama white sauce—a Southern-style barbecue sauce that uses mayonnaise as its base. Consider it my flirtatious little wink to the tastes of the Mediterranean.
I hope you love this easy, healthy lunch as much as I do. It's definitely going into my regular rotation, and that's a tough list to crack.
Yogurt-Marinated Chicken & Creamy Greek Sauce
Makes 1 to 2 pitas
For the marinade
1 large chicken breast (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Greek sauce
4 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or light)
1 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 garlic powder
Squeeze of lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
Pita bread, for serving
For the marinade, cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the yogurt, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until combined. Add the chicken and marinate for at least two hours, but overnight if possible.
For the Greek sauce, mix together all of the ingredients and refrigerate. Adjust seasoning according to taste before serving. (Note: I used 1/4 teaspoon salt and a very generous amount of black pepper. You can't have too much in my opinion.)
For the chicken, wipe off the excess marinade. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook until fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove the garlic. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes without stirring. Give a quick toss and continue cooking for another 3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
To assemble, combine the chicken with desired amount of Greek Sauce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pile onto a piece of pita bread, fold like a taco, and devour.
Related: Recipe: Easy Homemade Pita Bread
(Images: Nealey Dozier)