Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tsatziki (on a Chicken Plate)

Back in college, we used to live off of Durant Food Court aka Asian Ghetto. And while most of the restaurants there are Asian, there was a non-Asian place that we really enjoyed as well - Meesha's Gyros. We'd always order the same thing when we went there, "Chicken plate over rice, with hummus, extra yogurt sauce and spicy on the side - to go". The thing that made this dish was really the yogurt sauce, which I how realize was probably tzatziki.

I hadn't thought about that dish since we graduated (there's no need to mention how long ago that was) until a few weeks ago. It was like all the stars aligned and I really had no choice but to try and recreate it. I had leftover grilled chicken thighs in the fridge, a cucumber that I didn't know what to do with, and a tub of plain yogurt that needed to be eaten before it went bad. The other ingredients I needed are constant staples in this household, so I was set. I cooked up some rice in the rice cooker and got to work on the highlight of the dish, the yogurt sauce, and was very happy with the results. It's quick, easy, healthy and delicious. I'm definitely not going to forget this dish again any time soon.

- Chicken (I like thighs)
- 1 cup of greek yogurt or plain regular yogurt, drained
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic (to taste)

- 1/2 cucumber

- juice of 1/2 lemon (to taste)

- Salt & pepper


- Salt and pepper the chicken thigh and grill until cooked through. Let it rest, then cut it into bite size pieces and set it aside.

- Put the yogurt in a bowl. If you're using regular yogurt, put in a cheese cloth and let some of the excess liquid drain for a little while first.
- Using a microplane zester, zest the garlic into the yogurt.

- Wash and peel the cucumber. Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds (I find using a spoon works well).

- Grate the cucumber and add it to the yogurt mixture, squeezing out the excess liquid with your hands first.

- Add lemon juice to taste.

- Add salt and pepper to taste (though I found that I didn't need any at all).

- Mix well and let it sit in the fridge for a while for the flavors to really meld together (or serve immediately if you're impatient like me).
- Serve the chicken over a bed of rice with a healthy dollop of yogurt sauce on top, a sprinkling of chili powder if desired, a side of hummus and some steamed vegetables, and you've got yourself a healthy and delicious meal.


That Girl said...

There are some college meals I still dream about.

Claudia said...

This sounds so good - and college and delicious - crammed with goodly ingredients. I love that you had to recreate it - and did! And now I want some.

TabzChewy said...

this looks so amazingly delicious! -drools- I'm going to have to try this!

just a question though. I don't normally work with yogurt (unless it's the type that come in cups lol), so how do I "drain" it? :]

gaga said...

TabzChewy - all you have to do it put the yogurt in a colander lined with a cheesecloth for a few hours and you'll find that a lot water drains out. :)

foodhoe said...

sounds delicious! I just love chicken with tatziki sauce.

Reeni said...

This looks wonderful!! So comforting!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Tzatziki and chicken, what a great pairing!



Carolyn Jung said...

I LOVE tsatziki on just about anything. Seriously, I could eat it plain on pita or spread on a few cucumber spears and be one mighty happy camper. Creamy, cool, and refreshing, what's not to like? ;)

Jo said...

This looks really good and would love to try out the recipe.

high over happy said...

Looks delicious and a lot healthier than my usual mayo dressing :)

Ambitious said...

I love it when I find ingredients on hand and then a dish is born! It sounds sooo good! ;)

chow and chatter said...

oh this looks lovely great creation lol

Nic said...

Looks delicious and healthy, brilliant!

Laura in Paris said...

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I'd like to publish it in my website. Please contact me.

Joanne said...

Tzatziki is, I believe, my favorite condiment. I hate mayo, mustard, and ketchup. But this delicious yogurt sauce I could eat with a spoon. Thanks for this recipe! I wish I had had food like this during college.

gaga said...

Joanne - it's probably a good thing you didn't have food like this during college. I gained freshman 30 instead of the typical 15!!!

Juliana said...

Oh! I love tsatziki, it is very refreshing...yours looks fabulous...yummie!

Gar said...

I try be as vegetarian as I can, but I just can't seem to give up Greek yogurt, so that's my little indulgence. :)