I seriously can’t resist gyros, so when I saw a video floating around facebook about homemade gyros in the oven, I had to recreate it myself. I used a spice mix that I stumbled over a long time ago called Ras El Hanout, which originates from Morocco. A couple years back, I tried making grilled chicken that had a similar flavor to chicken that I’ve had many times in St. Maarten at a food hut called Little Jerusalem. After using Ras El Hanout I was pleasantly surprised by the almost identical aroma and taste it gave the chicken.
I made my own version of Raw El Hanout for this recipe that included sugar and paprika and excluded mace, cardamom and ground anise.
Add the spice mixture to greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
Next, slice chicken breast (or thighs if you prefer that) in half if it’s a big piece like mine was and use a meat tenderizer to flatten the chicken. Add the flattened chicken to the marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Cut each end of an onion so that it is sturdy and place a skewer in the middle of it. Now start adding each slice of chicken. Roast uncovered in the oven for an hour to an hour and a half until the outer-layer has a nice looking char.
Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes then slice away! I served mine alongside, tzatziki sauce, a sweet and savory fragrant rice, and pan seared veggies.
Here’s the recipe for the rice, tzatziki and veggies.
My version of Ras El Hanout
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground allspice
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp turmeric
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice from half a lemon
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 medium or large onion
- 1 skewer
Combine spice mix, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil; set aside. Slice boneless chicken breast pieces in half (if they are large), using a meat tenderizer pound them out until they are about a 1/2 inch thick. Add chicken to marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Set oven to 400 degrees.
Cut each end of the onion, place it on a baking sheet (or oven safe pan) lined with a baking mat or foil and stick the skewer in the middle of the onion. Stack the flattened chicken breast, one on top the other and roast in the oven for 60-120 minutes until you see a crusty charred outer-layer. Let rest for 10 minutes, slice, and serve.