Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Moroccan Chicken Gyros

This Spicy Moroccan twist on the classic gyro will ignite your taste buds and make the summer taste that much better!

I am constantly inspired by the amount of creativity and talent of my food blogging peers out there. One of my faves has to be Half Baked Harvest. Besides her ridiculously amazing photos, there is this off the wall creativity in her flavor combos as well as amazing execution and knowledge of so many different techniques! She also happens to be like REALLY young, like 20! What?! I know sooo crazy!

Well when I saw this recipe for Spring Veggie + Lemon Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Minted Goat Cheese Yogurt I swooned!! I mean imagine all those Moroccan spices cooled down with a minted goat cheese yogurt. It was as amazing as I imagined, like soooo soooo freaking good I needed to share it with all of you!! The marinade for this makes chicken MAGIC!

I just tweaked this recipe in how it's served and the veggies used on the skewers. I just thought this needed to be a gyro. I am a sucker for a clever twist on a classic meal. Hello-- it also has the spicy meat and the creamy yogurt sauce. I also love how juicy tender, colorful and well spiced the meat is. Just look at that chicken! This also happens to be the best summer food, filling, but refreshing with the cold yogurt sauce and red cabbage. Red cabbage may seem like an odd addition, but it adds color, crunch and very little calories.

This bad boy is pretty healthy, it is marinated with lots of olive oil, but not much sticks around. I also totally learned (the hard way) that all marinades need oil so the meat won't stick to the grill. Yeah sometimes I tried to cut out tooooo much fat and that was not pretty! I was very stingy with my calories. Plus this baby has lots of veggies! This is light in fat, but high in FLAVA! That is the BESTEST of both worlds- because I am telling you weight loss quest or not I refuse to eat a meal I don't enjoy!

Other suggestions for serving- This chicken and grilled veggies over a bed of lettuce and arugula will kick ass for leftovers and lunches for work!

What you need

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Moroccan Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size cubes
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled + roughly chopped
2 dried chile de arbol, seeds removed (or 1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 orange bell pepper, cut into large chunks
2 small to medium lemons, grated + juiced 

Minted Goat Cheese Yogurt

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I use 0%)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Soft Pocket-less Pita Bread
Chopped red cabbage
Wooden or metal kabob skewers

How to make it 

 1- In a food processor put in all ingredients for Moroccan chicken EXCEPT chicken, onions and peppers.
2- Pulse and mix well.
3- Place chicken into large ziplock bag or container and marinate overnight or 24 hours. (You can marinate for a couple hours, but flavor is more pronounced when marinated longer.)
4- Place marinated chicken and chopped onions and peppers onto skewers. (get creative with your patterns)
5- Grill skewers on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. (When veggies start to get browned on edges that is a good indication that they are about done.)
6- In a food processor combine all ingredients for minted goat cheese yogurt.
7- Warm pitas on grill for a minute.
7- Place a skewer's worth of chicken and veggies on the pita with red cabbage and drizzle on some of the sauce.
8- Wrap in parchment paper and tin foil for easy eating!

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