Chicken Souvlaki: A Taste of Greece on Skewers
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Chicken Souvlaki, a popular Greek street food, is a dish that captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine with its vibrant flavors and simple preparation. Marinated, skewered, and grilled to perfection, Chicken Souvlaki is a delightful and portable feast that reflects the heartiness of Greek flavors. Let’s embark on a culinary journey to uncover the secrets of making this iconic dish at home.

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Serving

  • Pita bread
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Instructions

1. Marinate the Chicken:

  • In a bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to create the marinade.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring they are well-coated.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to infuse.

2. Prepare the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • In another bowl, mix Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, chopped dill, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Skewer and Grill:

  • Preheat the grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers, ensuring an even distribution.
  • Grill the skewers for about 5-7 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through and has a nice char.

4. Assemble and Serve:

  • Warm the pita bread on the grill or in the oven.
  • Assemble the Chicken Souvlaki by placing the grilled chicken off the skewers onto the pita bread.
  • Top with sliced red onions, diced tomatoes, fresh parsley, and crumbled feta cheese if desired.

5. Drizzle with Tzatziki:

Finish the dish by generously drizzling the prepared Tzatziki sauce over the Chicken Souvlaki.

6. Enjoy!

Serve immediately, allowing everyone to customize their Chicken Souvlaki with their favorite toppings and enjoy the flavors of Greece in every bite.

Tips for Perfect Chicken Souvlaki

  1. Marinating Time: Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors infuse. For even more flavor, marinate for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Grilling Technique: Grill the chicken until it achieves a beautiful char on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside. Turning the skewers occasionally ensures even cooking.
  3. Toppings and Sides: Customize your Chicken Souvlaki with an array of toppings such as red onions, tomatoes, parsley, and feta. Serve with additional sides like Greek salad or roasted vegetables.
  4. Pita Bread: Warm the pita bread before assembling the Souvlaki to enhance its texture and make it more pliable for wrapping.
  5. Tzatziki Freshness: Prepare the Tzatziki sauce just before serving to maintain its freshness and vibrant flavor.

Final Words

Chicken Souvlaki is a celebration of Greek flavors, bringing together the simplicity of marinated and grilled chicken with the richness of Tzatziki and vibrant toppings. Whether enjoyed as a handheld street food or as part of a larger Greek feast, Chicken Souvlaki is a delicious and satisfying dish that transports your taste buds to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean. Gather around, savor the flavors, and embrace the joy of sharing a taste of Greece with family and friends.

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