One of my fondest food memories as a kid was my mother taking us to eat at the local, Greek restaurant. Entering through the doors, we were immediately greeted with warm smiles from the family run business. The exotic aromas immediately took over my senses, as I anticipated ordering my favorite dish.
If given the chance, I would love to thank the family for creating such wonderful food memories throughout my childhood. These recollections have fostered my appreciation for international cuisine as an adult chef. Homemade recipes and dishes made daily, a family sticking together and working hard day in and day out to make a living, and most importantly, they were passionate and proud of their culture and food. Today, I have adopted another local Greek family food truck to appreciate and enjoy the delicious cuisine, which has influenced this week’s dish.
This week on the menu, rotisserie chicken gyros with homemade tzatziki sauce. Marinated chicken thighs lined up on the spit, rotating slowly on the rotisserie as the indirect heat cooks the thighs to perfection. Moist and juicy on the inside, with the infrared back burner caramelizing the outside of the thighs, this meat has a wonderful texture and amazing flavor. Served alongside grilled pita bread, thinly sliced onion and lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and a zesty, savory homemade tzatziki sauce. Nostimo!!
- To avoid a mess when loading the marinated chicken on to the spit,do this step over the kitchen sink. Place and rest the pointed end of the spit at one of the back corners of the sink, with the spit resting diagonally across the sink. One at a time, skewer the thighs onto the spit and secure tightly into place on the preset secured fork. Continue until all the pieces are on the spit and tightly secure the second end fork, squeezing the layers of chicken snug together. To transfer, rest the skewered chicken spit diagonally into a 6-inch deep half hotel pan. The deep pan holds the chicken and catches the drippings and makes it super easy to transfer to the outdoor grill.
- For a wow presentation factor, I like to leave the cooked thighs on the spit. Allow the chicken to rest and cool down for 15 minute. With the dinner guests sitting tableside, I then slice the meat right off the spit and onto the Bull’s bamboo cutting board. Immediate applause and fingers picking at the cooked chicken! Works every time.
- Make it a HABIT! Clean the spit and all the pieces right away once the dinner party is over. Put it all back together, ensuring all the pieces are accounted for and it is ready for the future rotisserie. The worst is having to search for a part because this step was skipped.
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the sauce. Mix well, season with salt and pepper, and adjust as needed. Cover with plastic and set in fridge at least 45 minutes before time to use.
- Chicken & Marinade:
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, good quality
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons Bull’s sweet heat dry rub
- 8 pita bread, grilled
- 1 large, white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato, cut into chunks
- 1 head romaine, washed, thinly sliced
- Cooked rotisserie chicken thighs
- Tzatziki sauce
- Chicken and marinade: Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Place the chicken thighs in a extra large ziplock bag. Combine the marinade with the thighs, mix well. Remove all the air and seal shut. Place into the refrigerator from 1 hour, up to overnights.
- How to properly center, set and secure chicken thighs prior to cooking: Prior to placing the chicken thighs on to the spit, we want to center, set and secure the right rotisserie fork with the rear infrared burner on the Bull BBQ. This assures the chicken thighs will be properly centered over the infrared burner when time to cook. Align the right end fork so that it sits in front of where the right rear back burner ends. Tighten to secure into place with pliers. Skewer the spit through the various pieces of chicken thighs, securing them in the preset fork. Now slide and secure the left rotisserie fork onto the last piece of chicken thigh placed onto the spit, tightening in place with pliers.
- Preheating the grill: Remove the center grill grates from Bull's Angus Grill. Place an aluminum tray under to catch the drippings. Preheat the grill for 15 minutes with the lid closed, using indirect heat by turning two outside burners on medium heat and leaving the two center and rotisserie burners off.
- Cooking chicken thighs on the rotisserie: Turn the two outside burners off while loading the spit. Using the Bull pit mitts, place the rotisserie spit with positioned chicken thighs into the rotisserie brackets. Turn the rotisserie motor on. Turn the two outside burners to low and the infrared back burner on low heat, around 380 degrees F. Check that the chicken thighs rotate properly and close the lid. Allow the chicken to cook for 60 minutes without opening the lid. If the chicken at this point is crispy and brown on the outside, turn the infrared back burner off and leave the two outside burners on and cook for 30 minutes more, total 1.5 - 2 hours total. The chicken is done once Bull’s thermometer internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
- Grilling the pita bread: Once the chicken has been removed from the rotisserie, turn all the burner off except the two outside burners on low. Using Bull’s monster brush, clean the grill grates, removing any residue. Using Bull’s tongs, run a rag with oil over the hot, cleaned grill grates. Place the pita bread down on both sides of the burner and allow grill marks to form, around 3 minutes. Turn over to finish, another 3 minutes. Repeat until all pieces of pita bread are grilled. Keep in foil to hold until time to use.
- To plate: To serve, using a sharp knife, thinly slice the chicken right off the spit. Serve with the grilled bread, homemade tzatziki sauce, sliced onion, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and enjoy!
♥ Chef Amy
Enjoy your meal! καλή όρεξη!