My days in Corfu have a pleasing regularity. Wake as the sun rises above the mountains of Albania. A quick strong coffee before heading out for a run by the sea before it gets too hot. Back for a shower, a breakfast of bread, honey and cheese, juice and coffee, and then a couple of hours writing. The writing must be done. When the target word count is achieved, only then I can reward myself with a very, very long walk.
Each day I’ve been set off in a different direction. One day, left down to Astrakeri Beach, and then right along the stony shoreline, through the lanes to Roda, Almiros, Agia Ekaterini, ending up at Agios Spiridon Beach. Refreshment, and then return the same way. The next day, go right up the hill, briefly onto the main road, then off right through a maze of little roads, lined by fragrant wild flowers, orange trees and olive groves towards Sidari, Canal d’Amour Beach, refreshments, eventually round to Loggas Beach. Dangling my sore feet into the water off the concrete jetty, and then back. By refreshment, I mean a couple of ice cold beers and slap up meal.
My ‘refreshment’ of choice is a Gyros – AKA Kebab, or Shwarma. (All three terms mean ‘turning’ in Greek, Turkish and Arabic respectively – referring to the meat turning and grilled to perfection.) When I got home I tried cooking it for myself and was pleasantly surprised. Although, things always taste better in the sunshine by the sea.
1 kg of boneless, skinned chicken thighs.
500 g Greek Yoghurt
50ml Lemon Juice
200 ml Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
Tablespoon of Paprika
Tablespoon of Ground Cumin
Half teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
Teaspoon of Black Pepper
Method for cooking the meat
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine well. Cover the chicken thighs with some plastic wrap and bash it with a rolling pin till it’s about a centimetre thick. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour, and much longer if you can.
Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C
Ingredients for the Tzatziki
½ a Cucumber.
200g Full Fat Greek yoghurt
1 teaspoon of White Wine Vinegar.
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped Dill
A clove of Garlic crushed
Half teaspoon of Sugar
A pinch of Salt.
Method for the sauce
Cut the cucumber into think sticks. Use a piece of kitchen roll to mop up any excess juice. Combine all the Tzatziki ingredients in a bowl, and stir very well. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour.
Place the marinated chicken thighs on a baking tray and bake for 90 minutes to an hour.
Cool for 10 minutes.
Slice the chicken into small pieces and stuff them into a pita bread which has been made into a pocket.
Drizzle the open end with some sliced onion, tomato, and the Tzatziki sauce.
Serve with chips and Greek Salad.