I was first introduced to chicken souvlaki at a diner in Queens. The chicken was dry, the vegetables wilted and the pita stale, but the tzatziki sauce - delish!
Since then I've developed a real love of this dish and am known to order it whenever, wherever and however I can - and when I can't have someone make it for me when the craving hits, I make it myself.
Here are my big 3 reasons for lovin' this Greek entree:
1. It's satisfying - I never walk away after eating a plate feeling like I've missed a flavor. It's all in there.
2. It's healthy - Grilled chicken atop a yogurt sauce and veggie mound. It's gotta be good for you.
3. It's easy - This literally takes 25 minutes (15 if I chop fast) to make.
Looks good, right?
Want to make a plate for dinner tonight?
I know the ingredient list looks intimidating, but trust me, most of them you'll have on hand already. Have extra oil nearby for the cooking process.
2 thick chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/4 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
sprinkle of paprika for color
For Tzatziki Sauce:
1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 teaspoon dill
1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream
pepper to taste
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
For Salad Garnish:
12 grape tomatoes
6 leaves of lettuce, chopped
10 black olives, chopped
remaining cucumber half, chopped
1 medium green pepper, sliced thin
1 medium onion, chopped into thin strips
2 pieces of pita or flatbread
feta cheese, crumbled, to your liking
Prepare your chicken first. Clean and cut them into chunks. Then, prepare the yogurt marinade by combining all your ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Once mixed, throw in your chicken and coat. Set to the side.
While that rests, chop up your onion and green pepper. Then, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into a pan - cast iron is best here. Get it nice and hot, then throw in your chopped veggies. Let them cook, toss only occasionally so that they get a nice seared crunch. The idea is to cook them just enough without them losing their crunch.
While those cook, prepare your tzatziki sauce. Just mix all your ingredients together.
Remove your peppers and onions from the pan and set to the side. Lower the flame a bit, drizzle some more olive oil into the pan - just enough to coat the bottom a bit - then put in your chicken. For 1 inch chunks it'll generally take about 3 minutes per side for the chicken to cook through.
While the chicken cooks, cut up the rest of your veggies.
Once the chicken is cooked, prepare your plates - start with the pita, top with a healthy bit of the tzatziki sauce, followed by a hefty mound of veggies, then your chicken and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
25 - 30 minutes