We owe a lot to the Greeks. Need I mention Archimedes, Plato, Socrates, the Acropolis??
Oh, and I would be quite remiss if I left off Greek food. Sometimes it gets a bad rep, often overlooked in the dark, looming shadow of their pasta totin’, rolling vineyards neighbor, Italy.
The truth is that Greek food includes the vibrant and briny flavors of capers, olives and feta cheese with the fresh aromatics of dill and oregano. The acidic tang of lemons and Greek yogurt are rounded out and harmoniously brought together with the nearly floral Mediterranean gold, olive oil.
What better way to celebrate that savor than to literally wrap it all up in one warm, creamy, incredibly messy bite.
I can’t imagine a more sublime savory experience (desserts are a whole other matter) than sinking your primal canines into a charred piece of meat, topped with dill and creamy tzatziki-smothered crisp, pickled vegetables all hugged with a warm pita.
Just don’t forget to grab extra napkins to wipe the smear of tzatziki off your face. Share if you must.
Greek Chicken Tzatziki Wraps
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
4 pitas/naan flat bread
1/2 cup whole fat yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
1 cup seeded, finely diced tomato
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped and pitted black olives
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup whole fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, grated on a box grater, salted lightly for 5 minutes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
- Prepare the chicken marinade by whisking together all of the marinade ingredients except the chicken. Put in a resealable bag along with the chicken breasts and shake to cover all of the chicken evenly. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 2 to 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cucumber relish and the tzatiki sauce. For the relish, place the sliced cucumbers in a colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with pinch of salt and leave for 30 to 40 minutes or until cucumbers soften and their liquid begins to drain into the bowl. Stir occasionally.
- In another bowl, combine the rest of the relish ingredients: tomato, onion, olives, parsley, dill, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Rinse the cucumbers and add into the relish, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour or two.
- To make the tzatziki rinse the grated cucumbers and squeeze the excess liquid out (as much as you can) using cheesecloth, a towel or your fist. Mix the tzatziki sauce ingredients, including the cucumbers in a bowl until emulsified.
- Preheat the grill or a grill pan on the stove to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through (to 165 degrees F), about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken from grill and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.
- Warm up the pita or naan bread on the grill for a minute or two. Layer a few slices of chicken in the warm pita/naan along with the relish and serve with a generous dollop of tzatziki sauce.