Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Today’s recipe, Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce, features chicken thighs as the protein source. Chicken thighs are underappreciated and under-used, compared to the ultra-popular chicken breast.
Both chicken thighs and breasts are good sources of lean protein. However, they differ in the amount of calories, fat and saturated fat. For example, a 4-ounce skinless, chicken breast provides about 110 calories, 3 grams of total fat and 1 gram of saturated fat. In comparison, a 4-ounce skinless portion of chicken thigh provides about 150 calories, 7 grams of total fat and 2 grams of saturated fat. The difference is not huge, meaning you should feel free to enjoy skinless, boneless chicken thighs more often! Within the same brand, skinless boneless thighs are always cheaper than than skinless, boneless breasts, so take advantage of the lower price, and stock up when you see a sale!
The slightly higher fat content of chicken thighs means the meat will stay tender and moist in a slow cooker environment. Today’s recipe is a perfect “busy day” meal because the prep time is very short. Prep the Tzatziki sauce while the chicken cooks so there’s even less fuss and flurry as the dinner hour approaches.
Obviously, the bread in traditional gyros is not m.e.l.t.-compliant. But I’m sure you won’t miss it when you heap that tender, juicy chicken over a big salad chock-full of fresh veggies! And for you meal preppers, this dish makes plenty of chicken for the entire week; just vary your salad ingredients to keep it interesting!
Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 9 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
For Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup diced cucumber, seeded and diced into tiny pieces
- 1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- extra salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 large head lettuce of your choice, shredded
- 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 English cucumber, sliced into quarters
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced and quartered
- Place chicken in bottom of 6-Quart slow cooker.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the onion, garlic, olive oil, oregano, allspice, lemon pepper, lemon juice and the red wine vinegar to the bowl. Stir well.
- Pour contents of bowl over the top of the chicken.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
- For Tzatziki Sauce: Combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt and garlic in medium bowl. Stir until creamy and combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Using tongs, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Shred the chicken and place back into the slow cooker.
- To Serve: Divide the shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, and red onion among the individual plates or bowls. Ladle the chicken and onions on the top of individual servings of salad. Top with Tsatziki sauce.
Notes: If you are having this for a cheat meal, by all means assemble your meals as classic gyros, with bread. Need another green vegetable? Zucchini Zoodles with Basil would be an excellent accompaniment!