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As I mentioned, I spent 10 days abroad at the beginning of this month. We visited relatives and friends in the Netherlands and then continued on to Corfu, Greece for a week. There, we also enjoyed time with relatives, swam in the sea and were honored with an amazing baptism and party for Mini-Whipped at the church in my father-in-laws village.

The Greeks that I have met on Corfu do not fool around when it comes to a barbeque. One of our family members builds free-standing, large grills with chimneys that are fit to hold a full animal… or barbeque an abundance of meat (like the above photo). People thought the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie was so funny when they mentioned a whole lamb on a spit in the yard. Well, it is a present day reality for many, animal head and all.

For my sister-in-law’s birthday, we set up the big, long table on the front porch, invited all the cousins and had an amazing, multi-meat course, red-hot-glowing-coals, tons-of-beer-and-wine-to-wash-it-all down barbeque. The Chicken Souvlaki is always one of my favorites. Small pieces of chicken, a few pepper pieces, oregano, lemon and olive oil is all it takes. I think that cooking the meat over wood charcoal adds a special flavor. But, gas grill or broiling would be an acceptable substitution since most Americans are not in the habit of having a 10 foot grill in their front yard. Often, the chicken skewers are served with pita bread (not a pocket) which can be warmed on the grill as well and Tzatziki (cucumber yogurt dip). Put it together with Horiatiki (Greek Peasant Salad) and you have a meal.

Chicken Souvlaki
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
1 Red Pepper cut in 1 inch squares (optional)
1/2 red onion cut in small pieces (optional)

Combine lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper and oregano and whisk together. Put in a bag or container with chicken and marinate 2 hours to overnight. If you are using bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes before using to avoid burning on the grill. Thread chicken on skewers, alternating with a few pieces of red pepper and/or onion if you are using it. Grill on high heat, lid down for about 4 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Serve with non-pocket pita bread (warmed on grill) and Tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt Dip)
2 cups plain yogurt (or 2 cups, thick Greek yogurt)
2 large cucumbers
1 1/4 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespon white vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and white pepper to taste

If using regular yogurt, put yogurt in a cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl. Drain several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Greek yogurt is thicker and does not need the draining. Peel, seed and coarsely grate cucumbers. Drain well. Add garlic, vinegar, olive oil, sat and pepper to cucumbers. Mix well. Add drained yogurt and blend.

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15 Responses to “Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki”

  1. janice Says:

    Peffect recipe. Simple but good flavors I’m making it tonight.

  2. dani Says:

    i’m from greece but live in the UK right now.. i didn’t have time to go back home this summer, so your post has transported me there.. thank you!

  3. olivia Says:

    When I lived in Greece, I learned the best trick to a really cool and refreshing tzatziki–a little mint and a splash of ouzo. The flavors play really nicely off the cucumber.

  4. l.o.v.e.l.y. Says:

    Wow, I am so jealous of your European adventures! The food looks beautiful as well!

  5. sponge cake bob Says:

    and look at that photo! from the side perspective.. good lighting and composition..
    juicyyyyyyy

  6. Alcohol Posts » Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Says:

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    [...] Taramosalata is a common appetizer, served to spread on bread, often along with other appetizers like Skordalia, Tzatziki or Melitzanosalata. The main ingredient, that gives it the signature pink color, is cod fish roe. Oddly enough, it doesn’t taste all that fishy. There are a number of variations, some mixed with potato and others with bread. [...]

  9. Shannalee Says:

    Chicken souvlaki and tzatziki sauce = my favorite Greek meal! I just stumbled onto your site through Wednesday Chef. Love it!

  10. Summer Says:

    After traveling to Greece I fell in love with this same meal. I’ve also made chicken larger pieces of chicken the same way – dousing it in fresh lemon juice as it cooks.
    I also add grated carrots to my tzatziki sauce. It sort of turns it pink but it’s a nice flavor!

  11. Andrea Hanton Says:

    I just made this tonight along with your Greek Peasant Salad and Spinach Pie. Delicious! Was a huge hit with my family. I’m glad I bought the Greek oregano and the thick, creamy Greek yogurt. Brought back wonderful memories of a summer in Greece years ago… Thank you!

  12. Grilled Feta Cheese :: Whipped Says:

    [...] in Greece.  But, the excessive Chicago heat already has me in the mood.  Once I start dreaming of souvlaki, Greek salad, pasticcio, bougatsa and feta, it is impossible to push myself out of the taste bud [...]

  13. BrevilleJE900 Says:

    When I was in Greece 10 years ago we had Souvlaki for dinner every day. Thansk for this great recipe. I’m looking forward to cooking it at home.

  14. Barbecue Pork Recipe Says:

    Thank you for your excellent post. With the summer right around the corner we are constantly looking for new and updated information centered around the grilling community. There are so many great grilling recipes and grilling tips out there in today’s market, it is great to know that there are still people taking the time to grill and enjoy the great taste of food on the grill. Thank you again.

  15. Kathleen Conner Says:

    This looks so great. any chance you have put a Print button on your recipes?

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