Spiced Chicken “Gyros” with Roasted Garlic-Yogurt spread and Onion Salad

gyros1Every time my husband craves “Gyro”, the nagging begins. I know, it’s nerve breaking to really crave for something and someone (a.k.a. me) is not letting you enjoy it without the guilt. Ok, so I’m bossy! But only when it comes to food.


So I decided to offer my family a healthier version of this delicious wrap. One that has all the taste with out the excess amount of fat. I have to tell you, this is the best TV food. Perfectly spiced chicken ribbons on a bed of a garlicky yogurt spread, topped with the most delicious onion salad and then wrapped in fresh pita. I’m drooling already.


For the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken with skin, no bones (ask your butcher to do this for ease)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ Tbs sumac

For the yogurt spread

  • 1 head of garlic
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 cup thick Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs tahini paste
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To serve


Preheat oven to 200 C. Season the chicken on both sides with salt. Place chicken flat on an oiled baking tray (I use olive oil), skin side down.

In a small bowl mix together the garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and olive oil until you have a paste. Put on disposable gloves and rub the spice paste all over the chicken. Rub the paste on both sides but use more on the skinless side.

Fold the chicken in the centre so that one breast meats the other. Turn chicken 90 degrees if you like to fit better in the baking tray. Sprinkle with the sumac.

Cut about 5mm off the top of the head of garlic to expose the garlic cloves. Place garlic cut side up, in the baking tray with the chicken. Drizzle over garlic about ½ tablespoon olive oil.

Put tray in the preheated oven and roast chicken for 25 minutes. Turn chicken over and roast for 10-15 minutes more until juices run clear and chicken is cooked through.

Let chicken rest in the tray for 30 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Take the roasted garlic and squeeze out the cloves one by one. Put pulp in the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients for the yogurt spread. Pulse until smooth.

To serve, put the chicken on a carving board. Slice in thin ribbons with a sharp knife. Drizzle with the pan juices.

Open the pita bread and spread with the yogurt spread. Add some chicken slices and top with onion salad. Close the pita and take a big bite.


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