Method: Grill or smokerJump to Recipe
Over the years, my family and I have been fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of time in Europe. A few years ago my wife and I spent some time in Athens, and fell in love with the city, the culture, and the food. One of our more memorable meals was dining beneath the Acropolis, trying a multitude of Greek specialties.
In Greece, and especially the busy streets of Athens, you do not have to look hard to find local venders serving up an array of grilled meats, the most famous of which is probably Souvlaki. Everything about this marinated chicken kabob, screams Greek cuisine, and it is a fairly simple dish to make. Served up with some warm pita, and some cool Tzatziki (fresh made of course), and you have a perfect meal for wandering the streets of one of the World's oldest cities, or even just relaxing in your backyard sipping an Ouzo Sour.
Making the Grilled Souvlaki
The marinade includes only an handful of ingredients including olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, Greek yogurt and some fresh herbs. Combine the marinade ingredients and place in a bowl.
Cube the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Mix with the marinade.
Prepare the Tzatkiki Sauce
This dish pairs perfectly with fresh made Tzatkiki sauce, the recipe for which is included below or can be found here:
The sauce can be made a day ahead of time giving the meat ample time in the marinade.
After marinating the meat for at least 4 hours, or overnight, the chicken is skewered and it is time to fire up the grill.
We like to heat the grill to 350 degrees and set up both direct and indirect cooking zones. We start by grilling the meat for a few minutes on each side over direct heat, before moving the skewers to indirect heat to finish cooking. The chicken is done when the internal temp of the largest piece of chicken is 165 degrees as checked by in instant read thermometer. You can read more about this important cooking tool here or on our Equipment/Tools of the Trade page:
Serve the Soulvaki warm with the tzatziki sauce, warm pita bread and some Mediterranean quinoa.
We doubt you will have any, but any leftover chicken skewers can be frozen for a later date, though the tzatziki sauce is best if consumed within 3 days.
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- mixing bowls
- 2 Pounds Chicken Breasts Cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 Tab Olive Oil
- 2 Tab Plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tab Red Wine Vinegar
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced, or 2 tablespoon Garlic Squeeze (see note)
- 2 tea Fresh Oregano chopped
- 1 tea Fresh Mint chopped
- ½ tea Salt
- ¼ tea Fresh Black Pepper
- In a medium sized bowl combine all of the marinade ingredients, then add the chicken pieces.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to cook preheat grill to 350 degrees, set up for direct and indirect heat.
- Skewer the chicken pieces on wooden or metal skewers.
- Grill over direct heat for 3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Move to indirect heat and cook until the internal temp of the chicken is 165 degrees (about 5-10 minutes).
- Serve with tzatziki sauce and warm pita bread.
This cool Tzatziki sauce is the perfect accompaniment to this warm chicken skewers.
- Mixing Bowl
- ½ Medium Sized Cucumber
- 1 5.3 oz Container of Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 Tab Lemon Juice
- 1 Tab Olive Oil
- ½ tea Fresh Dill chopped
- ¼ tea Garlic Powder
- ¼ tea Black Pepper
- ¼ tea Salt
- Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Discard the seeds.
- Finely dice the cucumber and place in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate until needed, but for at least 30 minutes but does better chilled for at least 4 hours.