Greek Classic Chicken Souvlaki

Greek Classic Chicken Souvlaki

Greek Classic Chicken Souvlaki is grilled chicken, onions and tomatoes served on pita bread with tzatziki, a yogurt and cucumber sauce. When ordered at a Greek restaurant Chicken Souvlaki is often served with everything rolled up in a pita wrapped in foil and served with tzatziki sauce on the chicken mixture or in a small container on the side. For me it’s a bit difficult to eat this way – there’s no way to avoid spilling part or most of it out of the foil wrapping and onto my plate! I like serving Chicken Souvlaki on a platter (see above photo) with the pita cut into wedges.

My best friend Janice Carlton and I used to go to a small Greek restaurant in Columbia, South Carolina often and I always ordered Chicken Souvlaki. This dish brings back nice memories for me!

The Recipe for Chicken Souvlaki:

Chicken Souvlaki
Serves 4
Grilled chicken on pita with tomatoes, onions, black olives and tzatziki, a cucumber and yogurt sauce.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  2. 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, peeled, seeded and grated
  3. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. Fresh ground black pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  9. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  10. 4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
  11. 4 pitas
  12. 1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
  13. 2 tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  14. 1/3 cup black olives, halved & pitted
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber with 1 teaspoon of the salt; let sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze the cucumber to remove the liquid. Combine the cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and the dill.
  2. Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, oregano, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss the chicken cubes in the oil mixture and thread them onto skewers.
  3. Grill the chicken over high heat or broil, turning once, until done. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  4. Wrap the pitas in foil and grill until heated and golden. Cut into quarters.
  5. To serve, put the pitas on plates and top with the onion, tomatoes and chicken skewers. Serve with the tzatziki and olives.
Notes
  1. If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to prevent smoking while cooking the chicken.
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Tasty Tips

When making tzatziki, the yogurt and cucumber sauce, it’s important to get rid of as much of the cucumber liquid as possible. I did this by grating the cucumber, then putting it on a coffee filter in a strainer and letting it sit until most of the liquid had dripped through the strainer. I used the coffee filter to contain the grated cucumber while I squeezed out the rest of the liquid.

The tzatziki sauce adds a distinctive freshness to the Chicken Souvlaki. This delicious sauce could be thinned with the addition of a little milk and be used as salad dressing, too!

I used metal skewers to grill the chicken for this recipe. If you use wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to prevent smoking when you place them on the grill.

Raw onions are the normal accompaniment to this dish but if you really want to add some delicious flavor, try caramelizing the onions before serving time. To caramelize the onion in this recipe I cooked them in a skillet with some butter and a sprinkling of sugar. (You can also accomplish this by using half butter and half olive oil.)  Cooking time will be 30 minutes over medium-low heat. Caramelized onions take time, but the end result is well worth it!

Chicken Souvlaki is a satisfying meal for warm weather or anytime of year! Greek cuisine is Mediterranean cuisine which is thought to confer good health benefits. Chicken Souvlaki contains tomato, olives, cucumber, onion, yogurt and lemon juice – all components of the Mediterranean diet.

If you enjoy Greek food be sure to check out my post on Pastitsio – Greek Comfort Food, which is another Greek classic! I hope you’ll try at least one of these recipes soon!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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Sweet Potato Pancakes – A Savory Side Dish

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes are savory pancakes that can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or supper, depending on what other foods you serve with them! Grated sweet potatoes and onions are mixed with eggs, flour, orange juice and zest and spiced with cardamom. Sweet Potato Pancakes are topped with a dollop of sour cream and applesauce, just like potato pancakes (latkes) are served. Of course you can use whatever you like for toppings, too!

The Recipe

Sweet Potato Pancakes
Serves 6
A savory side dish that would well accompany meat or poultry. Grated sweet potato and onions are mixed with eggs, flour, orange juice and cardamom.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups coarsely grated sweet potatoes or yams
  2. 1/2 cup grated onion
  3. 3-4 tablespoons orange juice
  4. 1/2 - 1 teaspoon orange zest
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cardamom
  7. Dash black pepper
  8. 4 eggs, beaten
  9. Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet until it is very hot.
  3. Use a spoon to form thin pancakes, patting the batter down.
  4. Fry on both sides until brown, adding small amounts of additional oil, as needed.
  5. Serve hot with toppings.
Notes
  1. Suggested Toppings: applesauce, sour cream
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

Additional Information

The sweet potatoes or yams may be grated on a box cutter or by a food processor. All ingredients are combined in a bowl and mixed well before spooning the batter into a skillet (I used a griddle).

The Sweet Potato Pancakes are smoothed down so that they are of a consistent thickness. Cook on one side until lightly browned.

Flip the pancakes to the other side and cook until nicely browned. Serve hot with desired toppings.

Cardamom and Sweet Potatoes

I really enjoy the flavor of cardamom, a spice which is made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family. Cardamom is often used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian cuisines. If you’ve had chai tea, you’ve probably had cardamom, which is usually a component of chai tea. Cardamom is also in the blend of spices that make up garam masala, which is used extensively in Indian cooking. Cardamom has a fragrant aroma of lemon and mint.

Medicinally cardamom contains elements that appear to treat stomach and intestinal spasms and increases the movement of food through the intestines. It’s used as a flavoring and a basis for medicinal preparations for indigestion.

Sweet potatoes contain some great nutrients such as beta carotene, Vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and blood sugar regulating nutrients. Beta carotene is a strongly colored red-orange pigment abundant in fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene is a well-known antioxidant and eating a diet rich in beta carotene is an excellent health recommendation.

These two ingredients in Sweet Potato Pancakes are definitely healthy to eat!

Parting Comments

Did you catch my other recipes containing sweet potatoes? If not, check out these recipes: Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Patties, Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas, and Sweet Potato Casserole.

I’ll be featuring another recipe made with cardamom soon so watch for Cardamom Banana Muffins.

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

*If you’d like to receive new Silver Foodie posts automatically, please enter your e-mail address in the space under “Silver Foodie Updates” on the right sidebar, then click on “Sign up.” Thank you!

For a list of link parties in which I participate weekly, click on “Link Parties” on the header menu bar.

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