Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chicken Souvlaki

I have mentioned a few times before on this blog how much I love Greek food. I have several Greek restaurants in Dallas I enjoy, and usually when I have a craving I Robert and I go out to eat there. Last night, however, I decided I wanted to make my favorite Greek meal, chick souvlaki at home. Outside of hummus, this is really the first Greek meal I have made in my kitchen. I modeled the ingredients and plating after the chicken souvlaki served at Ziziki's, my favorite Greek restaurant.

I made a few modifications due to a recent allergy I've developed for raw onions and garlic. Usually you see onion with the chicken and garlic in the sauce but I substituted bell pepper and garlic powder and was really pleased with the results. This meal really came together quickly and Robert and I even got to go workout at the gym while the chicken was marinating. Pair this with pita and roasted potatoes for a great meal.

So before we get to the recipe I have a slight confession. Initially I was only planning to write about the tzatziki sauce recipe and not chicken souvlaki so I didn't take any photos of marinating or cooking the chicken and bell peppers. The final result was so tasty, I knew that I wanted to post the whole meal, even if I was a few photos short. So hopefully you can forgive the lack of photos at the end, fortunately it's a pretty straight forward process.

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Chicken Souvlaki

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon garlic powder
fresh ground pepper
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Red bell peppers
Onions (if desired)

Peel the cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard.
Dice the cucumbers and place in a colander. Sprinkle with kosher salt and set in the sink to drain off some of the excess water. (This will help keep the sauce from being too runny.)
After 30 minutes, place the cucumber in the bowl of the food processor along with the dill, garlic powder, lemon juice and pepper.
Puree until smooth. 
Pour the Greek yogurt into a large bowl.
Gradually stir in the cucumber puree.

When the sauce is ready, cube the chicken and bell peppers (and onions if desired) into 2 inch cubes and string on a skewer.
Place in a shallow dish and pour a good amount of tzatziki sauce over the chicken.
Let marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and sear the chicken and bell peppers.
After 5 minutes, transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve on pita with more tzatziki sauce drizzled on top with roasted potatoes and enjoy.

Source: Tzatziki recipe slightly modified from Kalyn's Kitchen

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