Don't limit your souvlaki to Greek festivals or late night diners. This fresh Mediterranean meal is easy to pull off at home.
Notes: Don't skip the cucumber salting step and use Greek yogurt for a thick and creamy tzatziki sauce. If Greek yogurt is unavailable, let regular yogurt drain in a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl or the sink until thick and creamy, about 1 hour. Once you've marinated the chicken, discard the marinade. Whether using an outdoor grill or grill pan, brush the grates or pan lightly with vegetable oil before cooking chicken.
About the author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.
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- Yield:serves 4 to 6
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:2 hours 45 minutes
- For the Chicken:
- 5 tablespoons fresh juice from about 3 lemons
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 medium cloves garlic, grated (about 4 teaspoons)
- For the Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (see note above)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium clove garlic, grated (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 cup greek yogurt (see note above)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- For the Salad:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 2 small red onions, sliced thin
- 1 medium cucumber, seeded and sliced into thin half moons
- 3/4 cups pitted kalamata olives
- 6 ounces crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 6 pitas
In medium bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Place chicken cubes in a separate medium bowl. Mix in grated garlic and 7 tablespoons of dressing. Toss chicken to coat evenly, cover, and refrigerate to marinate for about 2 hours, tossing occasionally. Set remaining dressing aside for salad.
While chicken marinates, make the tzatziki sauce: Place cubed cucumbers in strainer set over bowl. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let sit to drain, about 30 minutes. Gently pat cucumbers dry with paper towel, place in small bowl, and mix with garlic, yogurt, and dill. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Skewer chicken pieces on 8 to 12 skewers. Discard used marinade. Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken skewers on grill (or cook in batches on grill pan) until well browned and internal temperature registers 155° on instant read thermometer, turning evenly to cook on all sides, about 5 minutes total. (Adjust temperature of grill if necessary). Remove chicken to a serving platter and let rest 3 minutes. Meanwhile, briefly grill pitas and keep warm.
Just before serving, prepare the salad: Whisk olive oil into reserved chicken marinade. Add tomatoes, onions, cucumber, olives, feta, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve skewers with salad, pita, and tzatziki sauce. Remove chicken from skewers to stuff into pitas with sauce and salad.