Chicken Souvlaki with fresh Greek Salad. Talk about incredible Mediterranean flavors and textures. This is one of my favorite go-to recipes and there has not been a time that no one has not thoroughly enjoyed these skewers of moist tender super flavored chicken. Add in that wonderful char and these are a hit!
Song of the day: "Can't Get Better Than This" by Parachute Youth.
[This post was first published on April 10, 2015]
Chicken Souvlaki with fresh Greek Salad. A skewer worth its weight in gold
There is one thing about kebabs or skewers, whichever way you want to call them, that have people wanting them. I know when they are on the grill at our house neighbors for blocks are reveling in the aroma of that lovely marinated chicken. The oregano, garlic, and many other spices offer a symphony to the taste buds however when you bite in have a napkin ready because the juices will run!
My first big fat Greek experience
One of the things 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 moved 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, however, 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. Truly an experience to remember and one that I cherish to this day! Consequently, there is something cathartic about breaking those plates and you know what they say "when in Greece, do as the Greeks do"!
This brings us to the inspiration for this Chicken Souvlaki with fresh Greek Salad
Totally inspired by the culture, Nicoletta, and my trip to Greece and the love of cultural food, I am ready to cook some good eats with you. Let's get started.
Time to gather all the ingredients
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- white wine
- dried oregano and rosemary
- goat feta
- salt, pepper
Bonus recipes: Tzatziki and Greek salad
- sour cream
- fresh dill
- purple onion
- mixed grape tomatoes
- green peppers
- dried oregano
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- goat feta cheese
It's all in the prep
Dishes like these are so much easier when the prep is done ahead of time. With that said:
- Firstly we mix up the seasonings for the chicken. Get it all mixed in and then into the fridge to build some crazy flavor.
- Secondly, dice up veggies for the salad mix and do not dress until just before serving.
- Thirdly, have to make up the sauce, so, finely chopped peeled cucumbers go into some organic Greek yogurt along with the minced purple onion and garlic.
- Furthermore, add a squirting of lemon juice, fresh dill, salt, and pepper.
After our prep is done, now time to skewer up this chicken. I soak the skewers in warm water for about an hour or two. This prevents them from burning. I put 6 pieces of chicken per skewer and if I have leftover, some skewers get blessed with more for those hearty eaters in your family.
Let's recap what we have done so far
To summarize: marinated the chicken, chopped up veggies for the salad, mixed up Tzaziki, skewered the chicken. Now time for the finishing touches.
Time to grill the skewers
Onto the barbecue, the chicken goes. Afterward, while that is cooking and in between turning them, we dress the salad with oregano, feta, olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. The Tzaziki gets another stir and taste for seasoning and the chicken is almost done. Wow, I can smell the aroma of those seasoned kebabs charring on the grill. I am so hungry!
One final thing to do
Subsequently, to finish the chicken souvlaki, a drizzle of e.v.o oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon just. Then end result: fresh, full-bodied, moist, tender flavor of texture that will have your taste buds buzzing!
Rustic and family-style is the way to go
How to plate this dish was easy. I had this beautiful slate in mind and to place everything on that so anyone could get a pita and fill it up right at the table. What do you think, beautiful?
What does Souvlaki really mean
Souvlaki means on a stick. There are many kinds of Souvlaki like beef, pork, lamb, shrimp, but the one I love, chicken. Why did I use chicken thighs, well, because they stay moister and are very juicy if cooked right, however, if you want to use chicken breast, that is fine too. Just watch the temperature in the middle, 165° F is where you want to be!
Final thoughts on this Chicken Souvlaki with fresh Greek Salad
The chicken is marinated overnight in a range of spices and feta. As a result, you will love the richness of the olive oil and fresh garlic, infused with dried oregano.
A slight backdrop of lemon and drizzle of balsamic vinegar and white wine give this dish that little acidic bite, accompanied by the creamy goodness of the melted feta, and sprinkled with the peppery flavor of parsley. Moreover, when you barbecue these kebabs, 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.
In conclusion, I serve this dish with a Greek salad and tzatziki. This is a classic dish great for the BBQ season, party, or for a fun family Greek night. I made them for a party I catered and well, there was not a skewer to be found, all gobbled up. Likewise, I am sure that is what will happen in your experience!