Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chicken Souvlaki

When asking my husband for dinner requests, he mentioned souvlaki. Since I had also made feta recently (which I'll be posting soon), it was easy to add to the menu. The tzatziki was also an excellent way to use some of my homemade Greek yogurt.

Pictured with fresh grape tomatoes, feta cheese, tzatziki, whole wheat pita and fresh oregano. The marinade and quick cooking allow for very moist chicken.

I served the skewers with a salad of roasted beets sprinkled with the homemade feta. While I used chicken this time, you could easily prepare this with lamb or just about any other meat. You could also just marinate some pressed tofu cubes and use them, if you swing that way. I'd planned on making my own pita, but didn't have time. Pocketless pita is the only whole wheat kind the market had, so we just rolled with it. It was kind of like a big, Greek soft taco.

In addition to the chicken, I also made separate vegetable skewers with zucchini and yellow pepper, sprayed with olive oil and brushed with the marinade, grilling until done. Eggplant would also work beautifully.

Chicken Souvlaki
  • Boneless, skinless chicken, approx. 4 thighs or 2 breasts (if using a mixture of both dark & white meat, keep them separate so they cook evenly)
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 Tbl. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • salt, to taste
  • tzatziki (recipe below), whole wheat pita, vegetables and feta cheese for serving
Cut chicken up into approx. 1" cubes and place in a plastic zipper bag. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic and salt. Whisk until emulsified together. Pour all but a couple of tablespoons into the bag with the chicken. Close bag and let it marinate, anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, moving the contents occasionally to ensure even marinating.

Soak 5-10 bamboo skewers in cool water for approx. 30 minutes before assembling and cooking. The number of skewers depends on whether you'll also be doing vegetable skewers. Slide 5-6 pieces of chicken onto each skewer, being careful not to crowd.

Grill on a hot grill for a couple of minutes on each side, until cooked through, brushing with the reserved marinade (NOT the actual marinade used on the raw chicken).

These cook quickly, so be careful not to overcook them. Let the chicken rest off of the grill for a few minutes before serving. Meanwhile, you can warm the pita on the hot grill.

Serve with tzatziki, vegetables, warm pita and feta cheese

  • 1 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber (unwaxed or English)
  • 3 Tbl. lemon juice
  • a splash of olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbl. of finely chopped fresh dill (optional)
Grate cucumber on a box grater. If you like a chunkier sauce, you could also cut into small pieces vs. grating. Lightly salt the grated cucumber to help release its juices (you don't want the straining of the yogurt to go to waste by adding more moisture). Let sit and drain for approx 5-10 minutes. Gently squeeze out any remaining moisture with your hands and add to a small mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste. Chill until ready to use. This is also excellent as a veggie dip and sandwich spread.


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