First things first. No, it’s not pronounced “Guy-roh” but “Yee-roh”!
Greek is Mediterranean but Mediterranean isn’t necessarily Greek. When you consider this, you have a full array of choices from the Mediterranean regions of Italy and its pizza to Morocco and its couscous to Greece and its olives.
Did you know that Grecian once was a spartan cuisine? Bread was made of barley and was hard to chew, hence dipped in wine to make it easier to eat. Did you know that fish was ordinarily eaten more often than meats? Well yes, and most of their meats were eaten with grains, rice, pasta, potatoes and their well-known olives, nuts, yoghurt and honey. Quite enamoured by their cuisine, I got accustomed to using similar accompaniments in the form of beans, legumes, cheese, and nuts.
No dinner party is complete without a starter, so I thought why not use a Greek Gyro since we are on a Grecian roll. When in India, do as the Indians do and so my Greek Chicken Gyro recipe is inclined to the Indian palate. The “Gyro” is usually done in pita bread wrap, but a thin crust pizza bread will work just as well. Keeping ease of accessibility in mind, I tend to replace hard-to-get ingredients with those easily availalbe. I also keep in mind the country of the end customer, and seek to make it easier to use Indian ingredients that will give it a similar result. The filling is done in chicken, which is one of the main types of meats that go into a gyro.
Greek Gyro Recipe - A Grecian Toasted Pizza
- OTG (oven)
- Large flat baking/grilling tray
- thin crust pizza bread (used instead of pita bread)
- 5 - 6 cubes grated cheese (my preference is for Amul cheese)
- 400 gm boneless chicken (chopped into cubes)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic (chopped fine, to give it a mild flavour)
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 onion (chopped fine)
- 1 tbsp asparagus (chopped)
- 4 tbsp dark olives (rings)
- 1 tsp sea salt with herbs (Carmencite brand)
- 1 tbsp “Pizza Mixed Herbs” (readymade, available at stores)
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
Method for Chicken "Cooked Mix"
- As with all recipes, oil has to be heated first, and so the olive oil goes in first. (Remember to not overheat the oil owing to its smoking point).
- Add the chopped garlic. When the flavour of garlic seasoning infuses the air, add the chopped chicken cubes and sautee.
- Then let the chopped asparagus and onions follow, together.
- Sprinkle a spoonful of salt, mixed herbs, chilli flakes and sautee.
- Then comes the dark olive rings, and sea salt.
- Finally, the grated cheese tossed a bit for a minute. Turn off the stove. Let's call this the "cooked mix".
Pizza Bread Toasting
- Using a pizza cutter, pre-cut the pizza bread into triangles, then place them on a baking tray (see featured image).
- Top the pizza triangles with the “cooked mix”.
- Place the loaded pizza triangles into a pre-heated OTG at 175 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes till crisp.
The Taste of Greek Chicken Gyros
The base of Greek Chicken Gyros are crisp and crunchy, and the topping gives comfort to a foodie’s soul. If you happen to belong to Gen X – you’d gain a newfound respect from Gen Z. Where X, in my opinion, stands for X factor!
Starters or snacky dishes are served as a precursor to a meal; they are usually followed by the mains whose precursor, in turn, are salads. Do check out my article on Grecian Salads to complete a wholesome Mediterranean (or Greek) theme.