Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Greek Chicken and Potatoes - Souvlaki

I tried a new recipe tonight and took lots of pictures just in case it was worth sharing. I'll say it was worth sharing! This was simple to make and got thumbs up from everyone at the table. The fact that the meat was on skewers was definitely a bonus in the minds of my boys. Sword fighting tools and dinner at the same time?  What's not to love?!  Bonus for mom was how quickly this came together.

I am always looking for ways to expose my kids to the cuisines of other countries. We have a large, established Greek community in our area. Thankfully, the members of this community have many thriving restaurants and the Greek food they serve has become a family favorite. This recipe is a riff on a dish we've enjoyed often - Chicken Souvlaki.  Fancy name, but it really has simple, basic ingredients that capture some of those sunny Mediterranean  flavors. You can serve with a greek salad or maybe just plenty of tomatoes and feta cheese. 

Greek Chicken and Potatoes

  • 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 2 lemons
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 6-8 red skinned potatoes, cut into chunks
 In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Thread chunks of chicken onto skewers. Place skewers into large resealable plastic bag. Pour about 3/4 of the marinade of over chicken. Turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least four to six hours.

You can either cook this outside on the grill, or inside using the oven. 

Grilling Directions:   Spread potato chunks on large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with remaining marinade. Fold aluminum foil into a packet by crimping the middle and rolling up the sides, pressing to seal. Note:  I am on the - not coordinated side of things, so it took some doing to get the potatoes sealed in there.  Let's just say I used more then one sheet of foil and by the time I was done, these babies were in there for good.  The main thing is, you don't want leaks or the marinade will drip out and then you will have fire in the hole - or grill.

Preheat grill to high.  Lay potato packet on grate.  Let cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat to med-high and flip packet to the other side.  Let cook for another 8-10 minutes. Turn heat under the potatoes to low.  Meanwhile - on the other side of the grill, turn back to med-high  Add chicken skewers, turning every few minutes until the meat is cooked through.

Oven Directions:  Preheat oven to 400. Spread a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Add potatoes and drizzle with remaining marinade, stirring to coat.  Roast potatoes for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, lay chicken skewers across the top of potatoes. Spoon some of the chicken marinade over skewers. If you are worried about using marinade that raw chicken has been in, don't be.  That marinade is about to be blasted with  400 degree heat.  It will be well-cooked.  The thing you don't want to do, is use raw meat marinade on something that won't be cooked through. Roast for another 20 minutes or until chicken is done, turning skewers at least once.

This simple dish would be good served with traditional sides like steamed green beans and a basic salad. This time though,  I really wanted to incorporate more of that Mediterranean vibe.

 I couldn't resist making a batch of Tzatziki to serve on the side. Tzatziki is a cool, refreshing cucumber sauce that is often served on gyro's or on the side of other greek food.  We love it with wedges of toasted pita bread to dip in it.  Delish!

  • 2 cups plain yogurt (whole milk or low fat)
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
  • 2 tsp plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Use a thick Greek yogurt. Or, if you don't have that in the house, do what I did. Place the yogurt in a  paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Let this sit and drain for several hours and you will have a nice, thickened yogurt.  Meanwhile, grate the cucumber and toss it with 2 tsp of kosher salt. Place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Let drain for several hours.

Put the thickened yogurt in a big bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


  1. Mmmm! My mother and I were just talking about chicken souvlaki the other day. I think this will be dinner tonight. Off to marinade!

  2. I made this for dinner last night. I had to modify for no grill and no skewers. It was delicious. We had it with the copy cat Olive Garden salad (from Tammy's Recipes) and fresh French bread. Thanks so much - I'm gonna make this one a lot!

  3. I am so glad you liked it Julie! It's so easy to make, I think too this will be on our summer rotation quite often :)

    Greek fest is coming up this month in Greenville. Can't wait to head over there and have the real deal :)