The thing about Greek food is its fresh, tasteful and subtle spices. I love the whole Greek experience. The first time I ever stepped foot into a Greek restaurant was when I was in my teens and I was playing in a band, I was the drummer, still a huge passion of mine. We had a gig at a local restaurant called Cosmo’s. The food smelled amazing, atmosphere electric as belly dancers roomed about. Then plates started flying and people smashing them to the floor. My thoughts were this place is crazy and the owner is going to be mad because people were getting out of hand, well the owner came to me and gave me a few plates and said OPA!!! “smash it” so I did, and we danced arm in arm around the restaurant.
What a feeling later to find out this was customary.
I love the lemon oregano potatoes, creamy hummus, the fresh salad, fried cheese, and yes feta, and today’s dish Souvlaki, which means on a stick. There are many kinds of Souvlaki like beef, pork, lamb, shrimp, but the one I chose for this recipe is chicken.
Preparation of the Chicken Souvlaki with fresh Greek Salad:
The chicken marinated overnight in a range of spices and feta. You will love the richness of the olive oil and fresh garlic, infused with dried oregano, a slight back drop of lemon and drizzle of balsamic vinegar give this dish that little acidic bite, accompanied by the creamy goodness of the melted feta, and sprinkled with the peppery flavor of parsley. Barbeque these kabobs and the juices of the chicken caramelize with the herbs and acidity making for little morsels of crispy charred goodness, and of course the smell of that grill melding all those flavors, unbelievable. I serve this dish with a Greek salad. This is a classic dish great for the BBQ season. Enjoy! OPA!
- 4 deboned chicken thighs (you can use the breast too, but I like the juiciness of the thighs)
- 4 table spoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of dried oregano (try to go to either a European store or if you have a Greek market get it there, its more aromatic)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2-3 sprigs of parsley
- 1/4 cup of crumbled goat feta cheese
- 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons white wine
For the Greek Salad
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/2 green pepper
- 3 table spoons feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 table spoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- For the Souvlaki: cut chicken into cubes roughly 1 inch square or 2.54 centimeters square.
- Place into a deep oven dish.
- Drizzle olive oil, white wine, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice on to chicken.
- Sprinkle minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, fresh parsley.
- Crumble feta cheese into mixture.
- Massage all the ingredients together mixing well.
- Cover and place in to the fridge. (best to marinate this the night before this allows the flavors to build).
- Take wood skewers and soak in warm water at least an hour before cooking.
- Cooking: take Souvlaki out of fridge.
- Drain skewers.
- Place chicken on skewers usually 6-8 pieces per skewer.
- Put skewers on a baking dish.
- Drizzle remaining marinade over ckicken.
- Preheat BBQ to about 400°F.
- Clean grill and oil with some olive oil using a brush or even paper towel.
- Place chicken on grill and turn grill down a bit.
- Grill till chicken is cooked around180°F.
- Take off grill and let sit for a few minutes.
- For the Greek Salad: dice tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and green pepper.
- Place into a salad bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar.
- Toss in dried oregano, crumble Feta, salt and pepper.
- Remember when salting and peppering use a little and taste then you can add more. Easier than it being too salty, very hard to compensate.
- Mix well with hands or you can use a utensil (I prefer my hands just using that love to mix the salad).
- Cover and put in fridge just for the duration of the Souvlaki cooking time.
- Plating: place some Greek salad on a plate.
- Place two skewers off to one side.
- Can also serve with some fresh warmed up Pita.
- Serving Size: 4 portions
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