Monday, June 25, 2012

Chicken SouVlaki

Ah this tastes like home to me :) I grew up in a little beach town in FL that has a large Greek population and my dad’s family is Greek, so I ate chicken souvlakis OFTEN. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my parents used to say that my little brother’s first real food was a souvlaki and when he was little he used to eat two in one sitting. Traditionally the souvlaki meat is grilled on a skewer, but I don’t have a grill so I just sautéed the chicken. The chicken is marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano and is so flavorful on its own, but once you add the tzatziki sauce – forget about it. I’ve died and gone to Greek food heaven!

Chicken Souvlaki
Makes 4 souvlakis
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Inactive Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients (( Healthier Ingredient Substitutions ))
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 pitas (( 4 whole wheat pitas ))
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lemons
2 tomatoes
1/4 red onion

2 cups Tzatziki sauce
16 oz plain fat free Greek yogurt
1 cucumber
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp dill
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Mix chicken, olive oil, oregano, juice of 2 lemons, zest of 1 lemon, salt, and pepper. Seal in a plastic bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at lease 30 minutes, but 1-3 hours is better.

2. Prepare tzatziki sauce- Wash cucumber and slice in half length wise. Spoon out and discard the seeds. Pulse in the food processor until finely chopped (or just chop with a knife). Layer 4 paper towels. Put chopped cucumber in the paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the cucumbers. Mix yogurt, cucumbers, minced (or crushed) garlic, dill, salt, and pepper. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but as long as 3-5 hours is better.

3. Place pitas in aluminum foil and heat the in oven at 300 degrees F. Sauté chicken on medium - medium high heat until cooked all the way through. Cut the thickest piece of chicken open to check that it is white all the way through. This typically takes about 10 minutes.

4. Chop tomatoes and onion. Serve chicken on pitas with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and onions. Enjoy!

 For the chicken marinade! (only 2 lemons actually used)

The marinade contains both lemon juice and zest! I'm a big fan of lemon. 

Cut chicken in 1 inch cubes and mix with lemon juice, zest, oregano, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours. 

Prepare the tzatziki sauce. This can stay in the refrigerator the whole time the chicken is marinating.

Cook over medium high heat until no longer pink in the middle, about 10 minutes.

Serve on warm pita with tzatziki sauce, chopped tomatoes and red onions. Nom nom nom.


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