Mariel here. Most nights, I do my best to make dinner…even if that means grilling up some cheese and slapping it on two slices of bread. But because I live in NYC – and am prone to bouts of culinary laziness – takeout happens. Usually courtesy of SeamlessWeb, which makes ordering all too easy. My favorite place to plumb from is a little Greek joint right around the corner. The meat is never indiscernible the way some gyro meat can be, the sauces are always made that day, and their pitas are warm and doughy.
Unfortunately, a lamb burger from said restaurant gifted my husband with a bout of food poisoning a few weeks back, so we both agreed it’d be best to lose the takeout menu. For now anyway.
To sate my Greek-tooth, I’ve had to rely on my own skills and attempt to recreate my favorite dish – their yogurt-marinated chicken pitas – right here at home. As luck would have it, TheKitchn.com shared their very own rendition of this Mediterranean delight two weeks ago, so I had an excellent starting point and made just a few ticks and tweaks to suit my own tastes.
Also, in lieu of the Greek sauce they used, I whipped up a homemade Tzatziki that just about knocked my socks off. At first I was certain this pointed to some ancestral Olympian in my blood, but upon second thought, I realized it’s tough to screw up tzatziki (a word to the amorous though: it’s quite garlicky, so eat this with your sig other so you’re equally stanky, or eat it on nights you’re going to bed alone).
Greek-Style Chicken Wraps with Homemade Tzatziki
Makes 6 pitas
Adapted from TheKitchn.com
Ingredients for the Chicken Marinade:
1½ lbs of boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size chunks – $6.50
1½ cups plain, low-fat yogurt – $3.29
5 tablespoons olive oil – stock
3 teaspoons oregano – stock
1 teaspoon salt – stock
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes – stock
Freshly ground pepper, to taste – stock
Ingredients for the Tzatziki Sauce:
1 small cucumber, (remove seeds), cut into chunks – $0.99
5 cloves of fresh garlic – stock
2 tablespoons fresh dill – $1.69
8-oz of plain yogurt (Greek or non-Greek) – calculated above
1 tablespoon lemon juice – stock
½ teaspoon salt – stock
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – stock
For the Chicken:
4 tablespoons olive oil – stock
1 large tomato, sliced very thinly – $1.59
½ of a sweet onion, sliced very thinly – $1.16
Pita bread, warmed in the oven (Naan bread or lavash roll-ups also work) – $1.99
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $17.21
Cost per pita: $2.87
Directions for the Marinade:
1. After cutting the chicken into bite-size chunks, stir together the yogurt, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until well combined in a large sealable container. Add the chicken to the marinade and coat evenly – refrigerate for 2-12 hours.
2. Prepare the tzatziki by pulsing the cucumber, garlic and dill in a food processor – pulse until finely chopped. Stir in the yogurt, lemon, salt and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be made the day before).
3. After the chicken has marinated, heat the 4 TBS of olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Once hot, reduce heat to medium and use a fork to transfer your first batch of chicken to the skillet (I suggest using a fork so you don’t just dump everything in, extra marinade and all). Cook the chicken undisturbed for 4 minutes, then flip and cook another four minutes (or until cooked through). Transfer to a plate and cook the next batch of chicken, repeat until all chicken is done and throw out any remaining marinade.
4. Warm the pitas in the oven by wrapping in tinfoil and baking for 325 degrees for 10 minutes or so (if desired).
5. Assemble the pitas by piling with sliced tomato, sliced onion, chicken and plenty of tzatzki sauce.