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I made a really excellent dinner the other week totally by accident.
You see, the fact I constantly need to be testing and developing new recipes all the time gets a bit frustrating for the people around me: either we never have the same dish twice, or we have the same dish many, many times, slightly tweaked each time, and then it gets photographed and, with a few noticeable exceptions, vanishes from our dinner rotation forever.
To combat this, aside from the almost obligatory Sunday roast where the most I can get in experimentation-wise is the odd fancy vegetable side dish, I let J choose one thing I’ll make him for dinner each week, no arguments. Sometimes he goes through the books on my shelf and points at a picture, but most of the time he draws from his favourites of things I’ve made before, or simply asks for a dish and then I’ve got to find a way to make it.
So, there I was, getting ready to heat up the griddle pan and skewering the marinated piece of chicken thigh, and then he asked what else was going in his wraps. Wraps? I explained that souvlaki is Greek skewered meat, and that yes, sometimes you can then eat the food in a wrap, but he’d asked for souvlaki, not souvlaki wraps, not even gyros, which are traditional similar, but made with kebab-style meat.
Disappointment ensued, and I soon found myself hurriedly Googling to see if it was possible to put together some sort of flatbread with practically no time for any yeast to do the business.
What followed turned about to be one of the best meals I’d cooked in ages.
So, what exactly have we got here? Skewers of chicken, marinaded in good olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, a bit of garlic, lemon juice and lots and lots of dried oregano, cooked indoors on the griddle pan, patiently awaiting barbecue season (yes, souvlaki but that you can cut off the skewers like gyros meat if you wish because at home, it is a lot easier). Thick, griddled flatbreads that are not quite pitta and not quite regular flatbreads (barely adapted from this BBC recipe), more of a cross between the two, a light tzatziki (made with natural rather than Greek yogurt to make it saucier, and garlic granules rather than fresh so you don’t get garlic breath) and a crunchy bit of salad. Dinner, sorted.
I’d originally intended to suggest this as a weekend project, but actually, if you marinate the chicken in the morning and just leave it in the fridge it is all pretty weeknight friendly. Knead the dough and leave it to rest while you make the tzatziki and chop the salad, and skewer the chicken while you’re griddling the flatbreads. Piece of cake!
What if I don’t own a griddle pan?
No griddle pan, no problem! While I do recommend this one (ad) you can cook the flatbreads in a large non-stick frying pan, and the chicken either under a medium grill until cooked through and charred, or on the barbecue.
These easy homemade Chicken Gyros wraps are made from scratch with homemade flatbreads and tzatziki sauce.
For the Chicken Souvlaki
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 large garlic clove
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
For the Flatbreads
200g (7 oz) strong white bread flour
large pinch sea salt
100ml (5 1/2 tbsp) warm water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the Tzatziki
1/4 english cucumber
125g (4 1/2 oz) natural yogurt
1/4 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp finely chopped fresh dill
squeeze fresh lemon juice
For the Chicken Gyros
large handful shredded lettuce
1/2 small red onion
large handful cherry tomatoes
Whisk together the marinade ingredients (peeling and crushing the garlic) in a medium bowl. Cut the chicken into large chunks and set aside to marinate – this can be done several hours ahead for a better flavour.
To make the flatbreads, mix the salt into the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the warm water and olive oil. Mix everything together with a fork, switching to your hands to bring into into a smooth dough. Knead for 5 minutes on a clean surface and return it to the bowl, covering it in kitchen wrap to rest.
Peel and finely slice the red onion and leave it to sit in a small bowl of cold water to take some of the bite out of it. Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes.
To make the tzatziki grate the cucumber, peeled, on the largest hole of a box grater and set aside in a small bowl. In another small bowl combine the yogurt, garlic granules, dill, a god pinch of salt and a spritz of lemon. Squeeze any excess water out of the cucumber over the sink and stir it into the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt and lemon.
Set the griddle pan over a high heat. Divide the flatbread dough in half, and roll each half out into the thinnest circle you can manage. Griddle each for 2-3 minutes on each side until slightly puffed and cooked through. Set the flatbreads aside.
Meanwhile, divide the chicken between four wooden skewers. Once the flatbreads have finished cooking, cook the chicken until cooked through and charred on the outside.
Bring everything to the table so you can build your own wraps.
If you don’t like tzatziki, garlic mayonnaise is also fantastic here.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*