Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chicken Souvlaki

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We recently bought a new outdoor grill and I've been so eager to grill up our meals lately... especially with all the hot and humid weather we've had. Mediterranean cuisine is one that has a lot of grilled dishes, namely kabobs. I prepared Chicken Souvlaki which is essentially marinated chicken kabobs in Greek cuisine. This dish blew me and my husband away. The flavors just exploded in our mouths and was perfect to enjoy on a hot summer day...

The marinade really is the superstar of this dish. Chunks of chicken breast are infused with a delicious marinade of garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and a handful of dried herbs. Having the chicken marinate overnight fully ensured each bite was bursting with flavor. But it doesn't stop there. I served this with homemade pita bread, which we grilled and brushed with a garlic butter. The pita was then topped with lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion and tzatziki sauce. We removed the chicken off the skewers and added them to the pita, which we ate gyro style... and boy, it was amazing! I told my husband that there was no need for us to trek to Chicago's Greektown now that this recipe was in our hands!

Chicken Souvlaki
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Marinade:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed into bite sized pieces

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except the chicken. Pour marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag and seal. Refrigerate overnight for chicken to absorb the marinade.

Remove chicken from marinade, skewer and place on prepared grill. Discard remaining marinade. Cook chicken until juices run clear, about 5- 8 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from heat and serve with pita bread, lettuce, red onion, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce (recipe follows).




Tzatziki Sauce
recipe adapted from Alton Brown

16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
Pinch kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

3 comments:

Aimee said...

If you use greek style yogurt, can you skip the straining, or do you think it is critical?

Joelen said...

Aimee - I thought the same thing but if I were to use Greek yogurt, I think the tzatziki would still be too 'loose'. I really like how thick it came out as a result of straining the yogurt.

shilpamshinde said...

Hi Joelen,

Just dropped by to tell you that this recipe is awesome. I tried it a few days back and though I changed a few of the ingredients (http://wp.me/p16Pg2-7z), the end result was heavenly. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

Shilpa Shinde
shilpamshinde.wordpress.com

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