As soon as I opened the bag of Lemon Zest rice, I was struck by the bold flavors of lemon and oregano and knew that this rice would pair beautifully with Greek flavors. Specifically, I thought of a longtime favorite recipe of mine, Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce. When I took the first bite of the rice salad, I knew my instinct was spot on. The lemon and oregano flavors pair beautifully with the feta and mint in the salad. The other spices in the rice add a nice depth of flavor without having to empty your spice rack.
Using rice instead of pita not only makes the dish gluten free, but also it keeps my hands clean, since I can never seem to eat a gyro without making a mess! And another benefit of the rice salad format is that as the weather gets warmer, it makes for the perfect dish to bring to a picnic or BBQ. I’m looking forward to eating this on the beach this summer as part of a dinner picnic!
Chicken Gyro Lemon Zest Rice Salad
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 large clove of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
¼ cup light sour cream
½ cup cucumber, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup Della lemon zest rice
1 plum tomato, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup purple cabbage or crunchy lettuce, diced
1/4 cup raw red onion, minced
a few fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
- Cook the rice according to the package directions.
- Trim the chicken and cut it into 1” (2.5 cm) cubes. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon, garlic, and spices then toss the chicken strips in the spice mixture to coat them. Let the chicken rest in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce and stir well to combine thoroughly.
- Put 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, turning frequently, until the pieces are cooked through. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl and cover bowl with a plate to keep chicken warm.
- Add the remaining teaspoon olive oil to the same large skillet. Sauté the yellow onion and green pepper for about 3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, oregano, and cooked chicken and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant and chicken is hot.
- Combine everything but the tzatziki sauce in a big bowl and stir to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Pass the tzatziki sauce separately.