Intro

I get it now. I’m now in the mix with all the rest of the parents who are bustling children to and from activities and attempting to make dinner time possible. In the last week I’ve tried serving dinner around 4:30 in order to sit at the table before a 5:30 practice and I’ve also left dinner linger on the table for Baron to come home to around 8:00. Neither of which felt particularly natural but we got the job done.

While the kids were still babes I naively told Gabe, “We’ll never be like that.” I meant the sort who rushes from place to place just moving each child from point a to point b. Just like all the other “we’ll never” statements this one quickly became, “ohhhhh now I get it.” Our ideals and “we’ll nevers” are no match for reality. And I don’t mean that in a self-defeating way, there is simply no way of knowing what reality looks like or feels like until we are living in it. Then when you are in it you adjust the plan and reconfigure to what makes sense for you and your family.

The truth is that reality is often so much better once you relieve yourself of the “we’ll never”. When I said “we’ll never be like that” to Gabe in reference to the families who raced their kids from place to place I couldn’t see the sweet moments. Like the times in the car where conversation can flutter more freely than it often does in our home where we all get tied up in our own activities. I also never knew how much I adore being a baseball mom. I’m reworking my schedule, moving things around and saying no to otherwise very much “yes!” opportunities just to watch my boys stand tall on that pitcher’s mound. Seriously you guys I have zero cool at these games. I scream and holler, roll my eyes in the direction of the ump and pace back and forth when my boys are up to bat. I embarrass myself and love every moment of it.

I’m a very stubborn person so I don’t take my “I’ll never” statements lightly but I’m continually taught that reality and relationship are far more important than what I once deemed my ideals.

In light of this new season it’s no surprise then the the first recipe that caught my eye in Sarah Waldman’s new book, Feeding a Family, was one that required the use of a slow cooker. A recipe that practically takes care of itself with a bit of chopping on your part; Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Gyros. But here’s the thing. I don’t have a slow cooker what I do have is an Instant Pot which works better for my lack of planning abilities. You see this recipe would have required me to know what I wanted to have for dinner at the start of the day. I didn’t and very rarely do. But with my Instant Pot I went from frozen chicken to tender shredded chicken in about thirty minutes. As much as this sounds like an infomercial it’s really not, I just think we can all benefit from sharing with one another the real practical tips that we’ve found to make life a bit easier. The point here is a speedy, no fuss dinner with a good bit of health and one with very few complaints. My family really loves the sort of dinner where they can custom make their plate. Ivy now asks at dinner “can I serve myself? because she knows that mama likes to really pile on those vegetables. So here she can add extra olives, a few green things and a good bit of chicken.

For those who do have and use a slow cooker I’ll write the recipe as Sarah intended and I’ll give some instructions for those who are like me and need the use of a pressure cooker to get things really moving.

Now to all the parents out there where my judgmental “I nevers” were directed I am so sorry and also, why didn’t you tell me that baseball games were so stressful? We are all better off if we are in this together and I’ll never, excuse me, I will try do my best to go and judge no more.

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Gyro

Yield 8 gyros

I've added the recipe here just as Sarah wrote it with a brief mention of my cooking time using the Instant Pot. I also served mine with hummus and leftovers were combined with more arugula to make a lovely salad. I have quite a bit of chicken leftover and for that I am very thankful. 

Ingredients

CHICKEN

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

LEMON YOGURT SAUCE

1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lemon

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

TO ASSEMBLE

Lavash or pita bread, warmed (1 per person)

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped cucumber

Minced yellow onion

Pitted Kalamata olives

Baby arugula

Lemon slices, for serving (optional)

Instructions

In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onions, chicken, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, dill, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, until chicken can be easily shredded with a fork. Before serving taste and add more salt, pepper, fresh dill, or lemon juice as needed.

In an Insta-pot combine all the same ingredients, hit poultry then up the time to 30 minutes.

To make the sauce, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Sauce can be made ahead and kept, covered in the fridge, for up to 3 days.

To assemble the gyros, spread some of the lemon-yogurt sauce onto each piece of lavash or pita, add a few forkfuls of chicken, and top with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion olives, and baby arugula. Squirt with more lemon juice if you like.

 

23 Responses to “Sarah’s Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Gyros”

  1. Sabrina

    Nice recipe, thank you, and very funny how the “I’ll never” statements rarely stand the test of time and experience, nice post!

    Reply
  2. Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper

    Oh parenting….
    I completely know what you mean about the ‘we’ll never’ statements. We used to say the same thing when our kids were young. And now we run around at least a few days a week with the same issue of dinner time. So, yep…4:30 some days, 8 other days, in transit on a paper plate some days. But appreciating those sweet moments in the midst of chaos make it all worth the while 😀 This sounds fantastic by the way!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      hahaha. I love that your comment starts – ohhhhh parenting. 🙂 Right?! I mean everyday is a new revelation and another moment for me to think “wow, I really have no idea what I’m doing.” That used to terrify me and now I sort of love it. I think I love it because I’m seeing how little control I really have and that’s totally great. It takes a village and I love watching the village that surrounds my children. Parenting babies and toddlers is like keeping your hands on their shoulders all the time – you are constantly guiding them and turning them away from danger. You basically are in tune with their every move. Now that my kids are older (my oldest is 11 this week!!) it’s more of a gently nudging on the shoulder every now and again. The times when I try to grab their shoulders and turn them toward the way I think they should go they revolt and really it’s not right for them. ANyway, I have no idea if that illustration makes any sense. But yes, ohhhhhh parenting indeed.

      Reply
  3. Cin

    I have both a slow cooker and pressure cooker. From what I hear, the InstaPot is like a combo of both and more. About a month ago I purchase an IP, but decided to return it when I read that it had several extra pieces that I would have to clean…when with my pressure cooker (or slow cooker for that matter), there only one to two very easy pieces to clean. The way you cooked this recipe sounds like a pressure cooker version. If that was the case, I’m surprised you didn’t have to add any liquid. Do you have to use a trivet in you IP?

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Ohhh I’ve not seen all the extra parts to clean. But again I don’t have a lot of experience with a slow cooker – except for the one I shattered shortly after receiving it for a wedding present. I didn’t add any liquid and there was plenty in the pot after I released the pressure. I’m in no way and IP expert but what I have done has turned out beautifully.

      Reply
  4. Chava Mazal Stark

    I don’t have children, but I understand that realization when you go from, “I’ll never…” to “Oh, I totally get it!” It’s happened a lot with my day job.

    This recipe looks great and I love that you adapted it for the Instant Pot.

    Reply
  5. Lori

    Who knew baseball could be so stressful. I’m right there with you hollering and kicking dirt. I’m surprised I haven’t been thrown out…and my kids play on a parochial team! Guess I need to stuff one of these gyros in my mouth.

    Reply
  6. Charity O

    Curious about the Insta-pot directions. In your post you mentioned putting frozen chicken in. However in your directions note it doesn’t specify if 30 minutes was for frozen or fresh chicken. If it is for frozen then did you skip cutting up the chicken? I would love to make this this week! Thank You!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Charity – Sorry, yes the directions are a bit rough. I started with frozen chicken breasts and I added them to the Insta-pot along with the onions and the other ingredients Sarah suggests. Had they not been frozen I could have cut down on the cooking time about 10 minutes I’d imagine. Then I secured the lid, closed the venting, pressed the poultry setting then added more time until it reached 30 minutes. Does that make sense? I know that you can use the Insta-pot as a slow cooker as well but I’ve not done that yet – well, except for the times I don’t tend to the pot straight away and the food sits there for a bit. 😉 Let me know if you have any other questions. Always happy to help get dinner on the table.

      Reply
  7. Annalisa

    Thanks for the honest post- parenting is much harder than we expected and it’s helpful to know we’re not alone in that struggle. And I’ll have to try this recipe- anything with a slow cooker gets tried quickly!

    Reply
  8. Claire

    Ashley, this was wonderful! I have actually had my Instant Pot for over a year, but have only used it for its slow cooker and saute functions (mainly because I’ve been too afraid to use the pressure cooker bits). So glad that your recipe enticed me to use my IP for its intended (and AMAZING!) purpose. I followed the recipe as written and the only thing I’d change is just to keep the IP poultry time at 15 minutes for thawed chicken – it got a little mushy at 20. Otherwise, this was absolutely delicious and couldn’t have been easier. Thank you!

    Reply
  9. Ashley Jones

    I’m so excited to make this recipe! I’m curious if the uncooked chicken and marinade would freeze well? I know lemon can be tricky with meat over long periods of time. I’m meal prepping for when our first babe arrives and would love to add this to our freezer repertoire.

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Good for you! I think it would freeze totally fine. I have some chicken fajita situation in my freezer right now that contains a good bit of lime and it works great.

      Reply
  10. Rachele

    Hi Ashley!

    Would LOVE more Instant Pot advice. I have one, and am always looking for fun things to do with it.

    Reply
  11. Megan Gordon

    Yes I bookmarked this one, too! We made the Butter Chicken from her book yesterday and it turned out great. I’m all about the slow cooker and am now SO curious about the IP.

    Reply
  12. Sarah Snell

    Damn…
    This is definitely on my list. Thanks for the great and awesomely looking Greek Chicken. I will definitely try it tomorrow!!

    Reply

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