Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

A note on the photography for my Chicken Souvlaki with Tzaziki  here: I would have liked to shoot the Chicken Souvlaki while it was still on the skewer, but the grillmaster got in a bit of a hurry. And it is quite difficult to take a decent picture of Tzatziki sauce on a white plate!

 When the weather gets warm, our grill gets fired up pretty much every night. My summertime cooking is all about Mediterranean flavors, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and making the most of my abundance of herbs. Last night's dinner is a perfect example: Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce, served with a white bean salad and flat bread. Fresh from my herb garden, I used oregano in the marinade for the Chicken Souvlaki, mint in the Tzatziki Sauce, and parsley in the white bean salad.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzaziki Sauce

Ingredients:

For the Chicken Souvlaki:
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • grill spray
For the Tzaziki Sauce:
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/3 inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat a gas grill on high.
  2. If you plan to use wooden skewers, put them on to soak.
  3. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Whisk in the garlic, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the marinade into a large Ziplock bag and add the chicken.  Seal and massage around so the chicken pieces are coated with the marinade.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir together all the tzaziki sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Toss the zucchini slices with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  7. Take the chicken out of the marinade.  Discard the marinade.
  8. Skewer the chicken and zucchini onto 8-10 8-inch skewers.
  9. Clean the grill grate thoroughly and spray with grill spray.
  10. Put the skewers on the grill and grill 8-10 minutes until the chicken is done. (Note: I like my chicken thoroughly done!)
  11. Serve the chicken with the tzaziki sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes down time)
Cook time: 10 minutes

This is one of my family's favorite summertime meals.  The dinner table tends to get very quiet!  The kids weren't wild about tonight's white bean salad.  They much prefer a big green salad with red onion, tomato, black olives and lots of feta, tossed with a light vinaigrette.  This Creamy, Not-Too-Tangy Feta Vinaigrette also works well with a Greek-style salad.

I love the white bean salad I served with the chicken tonight.  I make a number of versions of it. When we lived in Louisiana, an elderly Greek couple sold white bean salad at the Saturday morning Farmer's Market. Mine is loosely based on theirs. The one I served tonight is Great Northern beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parsley, Nicoise olives, and salt and pepper. I also love it with basil and halved cherry tomatoes, sans the olives, but my basil plants are looking pretty peaked. I use a lot of basil in the summertime, so I bought a couple more today as well as beautiful purple sage and bay plants.

1 comment:

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