Monday, August 13, 2012

Recipe Swap - Chicken Souvlaki

The theme for this swap is Too Hot to Cook, which seemed like a great idea when I scheduled it. We've had record temps all summer, highs mostly in the 90s, and while I haven't shied away from using my oven, it's certainly nicer to cook outside on the grill when the temps are that high. But I didn't take into account the weather we've been having lately, mainly the severe thunderstorms. The weather conspired against me.

I was all set to make Melissa's Chicken Souvlaki earlier in the week, but every. single. night we had rain or the threat of rain. This meal kept getting pushed back and pushed back again until finally it was scheduled for Sunday, the night before the post was due. As the organizer of these swaps it pains me to wait until the last minute, especially when I encourage the participants to get the recipe made early. Oops.

It was worth the wait. I love Greek flavors and any excuse to make tzatziki. The flavors in the chicken were outstanding and the char from the grill really made the dish. I usually make tzatziki using this recipe, but wanted to stay true to Melissa's recipe so I used hers. I can't decide which version I like better. I also loved the simplicity. I marinated the chicken all day and the lemon juice made it super tender. Since the only toppings are more dill and some sliced red onion, getting these on the table took less than 20 minutes.

Oh and if you're considering taking a short cut like I did and skipping the butter on the pita, DON'T! I buttered two pitas and used cooking spray on the other two. The buttered pitas were FAR superior. Make these soon. Seriously!

Chicken Souvlaki
As seen on I Was Born to Cook

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Pita bread
Butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Chopped fresh dill

In a bowl or plastic bag, add oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces to mixture and toss. Marinate for 3-8 hours.

Turn on or light the grill. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill over high heat, turning once until done, about 5 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Spread both sides of pita with butter and grill until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Place pita on plate and top with chicken, followed by tzatziki, onion and dill.

Modified from I Was Born to Cook

1 cup plain greek nonfat yogurt
1 cup chopped cucumber (peel and seeds removed)
1/4 cup chopped dill leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small garlic clove, chopped
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Taste as you go along and adjust ingredients accordingly. Chill before serving.
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  1. I love this dish so much, and I'm glad you guys did, too. And you're right about the butter - a little goes a long way and is WELL worth it!

    1. It was so good I'm sad the leftovers are gone. I almost didn't make the 4 chicken breasts thinking that was a lot of meat but I'm glad I did! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. Yum I LOVE Tzatziki, too. When I got back from Greece last year, all I wanted was Greek food. I just couldn't get enough! These look amazing!

  3. yum! This would be right up our alley. Reminds me of the chicken gyros that I love so much.

    1. Dare I say these are better than the chicken gyros solely from a time standpoint? They take way less time to prepare, less ingredients and the flavor is killer.

  4. Thanks for awesome recipe! I made it on my own blog and liked it so much that I've made it twice since then! Yum!

    1. I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know - it's one of our favs!


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