Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

One of our family traditions are Sunday night barbecues when family and friends drop by for dinner and a visit.  Everyone looks forward to this weekly event.

Sometimes coming up with a different menu for the barbecues can be a challenge.  Last week we decided it would be Greek night so my daughter-in-law and I  made Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Dip.

We love Greece and Greek food.  We’ve been trying different recipes to  replicate the souvlaki and tzatziki we enjoy whenever we’re in Greece.

This weekend we made Tzatziki exactly how the owner of The Music Cafe in Myknos, one of our favorite cafes in Greece, taught us.  It was delicious.

I decided to try my hand at creating a new recipe for the souvlaki.  I marinated the chicken overnight in yogurt and spices, it turned out tender, juicy, and delicious!  The yogurt keeps the chicken tender and juicy and fresh dill gives them the extra yum!

Tzatziki is a yogurt dip or sauce.  It can be served with fresh crusty baguettes for dipping, and used as a sauce over the chicken.  Either way it’s delicious.

Both the Tzatziki and Souvlaki are easy to make.  The chicken should be marinated over night or for at least 3 hours, the longer it marinates in the fridge the tastier and tender it will be when grilled.  The Tzatziki can be make ahead of time and chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

Both dishes will now be permanent additions to our Sunday night barbecues.  Here are the recipes, perhaps you can try them out this coming Memorial Day.  Both recipes can be doubled or tripled for larger gatherings.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Chicken Souvlaki

Makes 9-10 kebobs

Ingredients:

2 lbs. thawed chicken tenderloins – if the pieces are too large you may have to cut them in half lengthwise to make strips no larger than 2″ wide.

1 cup WHOLE milk plain Greek yogurt.  Be sure it’s whole milk, the fat free or 2% won’t work.

1 tbls. minced garlic

2 tbls. olive oil

1 tsp. dried or fresh oregano – crushed or minced

1/2 tsp dried or fresh rosemary – crushed or minced

1 tbls. fresh dill – finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Add chicken strips; mix well making sure the chicken is well coated in the yogurt mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge.  It’s a good idea to stir the chicken several time while it’s marinating to ensure all pieces are coated with the yogurt mixture.

Place the marinated chicken on skewers – two pieces fit nicely on 12″ skewers.

Grill on medium heat until chicken is well cooked.  About 5-6 minutes on each side.  Don’t over cook the chicken, it will become dry and hard.

Serve immediately with Tzatziki, and whatever side dishes you prefer.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Tzatziki

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

2 medium cucumbers

2 cups WHOLE milk yogurt

1 tbls. olive oil

1 tbls. minced garlic

2 tbls. fresh minced dill

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt to taste

Directions:

1.  Peal cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the middle part including the seeds.

2.  Finely grate cucumber in to a mixing bowl.

3.  Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated cucumber, discard liquid and keep the grated cucumber.

4.  Add yogurt to cucumber and mix well.

5.  Add olive oil, garlic, and dill to the mixture and mix well.

6.  Remove lemon seeds and squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and mix well.

7.  Add salt to taste.

Chill until ready to serve.  Can be served as sauce for the Chicken Tzatziki or as a dip with crusty fresh bread or pita chips.  If serving as a dip portion into small bowls and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 3 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
Souvlaki
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add chicken strips; mix well making sure the chicken is well coated in the yogurt mixture.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge. It's a good idea to stir the chicken several time while it's marinating to ensure all pieces are coated with the yogurt mixture.
  4. Place the marinated chicken on skewers - two pieces fit nicely on 12" skewers.
  5. Grill on medium heat until chicken is well cooked. About 5-6 minutes on each side. Don't over cook the chicken, it will become dry and hard.
  6. Serve immediately with Tzatziki, and whatever side dishes you prefer.
Tzatziki
  1. Peal cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the middle part including the seeds.
  2. Finely grate cucumber in to a mixing bowl.
  3. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated cucumber, discard liquid and keep the grated cucumber.
  4. Add yogurt to cucumber and mix well.
  5. Add olive oil, garlic, and dill to the mixture and mix well.
  6. Remove lemon seeds and squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and mix well.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

Tzatziki can be served as sauce for the Chicken Souvlaki or as a dip with crusty fresh bread or pita chips. If serving as a dip portion into small bowls and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

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Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

 Fettuccine AlfredoFettuccine Alfredo was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio 1908.   It was  served in his mother’s restaurant in Rome.  It’s fame really spread when Di Lelio opened his own restaurant in central Rome simply called “Alfredo” in 1914.

His original recipe was very simple, pasta tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese.  Today if you go to most Roman trattorias or restoranti and ask for Fettuccine Alfredo they will probably have no idea what you’re talking about.  The name is mostly used in other countries, mainly in the United States.  In Italy it’s simply called “fettuccine al burro”.

There are many versions of this creamy white sauce, you’re almost sure to find it on the menu of many of the Italian style chain restaurants including The Old Spaghetti Factory, Olive Garden, and Macaroni Grill.   They make it with shrimp, chicken, and plain with just pasta.

This version is really my son’s recipe.  It’s very rich and creamy.  We use it as a sauce for Chicken and Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo and even use it as a pizza sauce.  My daughter Jaime loves the sauce over steamed rice.

This recipe is pretty simple but you have to keep stirring it so that the sauce comes out smooth and creamy.  Left over sauce keeps well for a week or more in the fridge.  Just warm it up and pour over pasta or meats.

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1 lb. Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup Butter

1/2 – 3/4 Cup Sun dried tomatoes, chopped

 

Chicken:

1 1/2 lb. Chicken Tenderloins, cut in cubes

1/2 Cup Italian Dressing

1 Package Frozen Broccoli Flowerettes

8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbls. Olive Oil

1 Tbls. Minced Garlic

Your favorite pasta or homemade pasta.  Click here to see my review on the Philips Pasta Maker.

 

Directions:

Fettuccine AlfredoPlace chicken cubes and Italian dressing in a ziplock bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Then shortly before cooking the chicken make the sauce.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

Add heavy whipping cream and allow it to heat up, do not let it boil.

Stir in grated cheese.  Keep stirring until all the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.  If the sauce isn’t thick enough add more cheese until you get your desired consistency.

Stir in sun dried tomatoes and turn off heat.  Keep sauce warm until ready to serve.

Cook your favorite pasta as directed.

Heat Olive in a frying pan add garlic and saute until it starts to turn brown, then take chicken out of ziplock bag and add to the pan.  Discard marinade.

HNM&K5@NT%Saute chicken until it turns brown on the outside.

Add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms turn golden brown.

Add broccoli and cook until tender.  Remove from heat and serve.

To Serve:

Place pasta in serving dish, top with chicken and sauce.  Serve hot with freshly baked garlic bread or homemade Garlic Knots.


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HNM&K5@NT%
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Print Recipe
Rich creamy white sauce you can use for pasta or pizza.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
HNM&K5@NT%
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Print Recipe
Rich creamy white sauce you can use for pasta or pizza.
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 3 Hours
Ingredients
Sauce
Chicken
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Place chicken cubes and Italian dressing in a ziplock bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
    Fettuccine Alfredo
  2. Then shortly before cooking the chicken make the sauce. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add heavy whipping cream and allow it to heat up, do not let it boil.
  4. Stir in grated cheese. Keep stirring until all the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. If the sauce isn't thick enough add more cheese until you get your desired consistency.
  5. Stir in sun dried tomatoes and turn off heat. Keep sauce warm until ready to serve.
  6. Cook your favorite pasta as directed.
  7. Heat Olive in a frying pan add garlic and saute until it starts to turn brown, then take chicken out of ziplock bag and add to the pan. Discard marinade.
  8. Saute chicken until it turns brown on the outside.
  9. Add sliced mushrooms and saute until mushrooms turn golden brown.
  10. Add broccoli and cook until tender. Remove from heat and serve.
    HNM&K5@NT%
  11. Place pasta in serving dish, top with chicken and sauce. Serve hot with freshly baked garlic bread or homemade Garlic Knots.
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Shish Taouk – Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Shish Taouk – Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Another one of my favorites when I’m visiting Jordan or Dubai is Shish Taouk, Lebanese Chicken Kebobs.  I eat this for dinner almost everyday when I’m in that part of the world, basically because I don’t eat lamb (which I’m told is very good there) and really because I just love it.

It’s very similar to the Greek Souvlaki; just marinated in different spices and served with the yummy garlic sauce instead of Tzatziki, the cucumber yogurt sauce so popular in Greece.
For my Chicken Souvlaki & Tzatziki recipe click here.

Shish Taouk, like Souvlaki is marinated in yogurt, placed on skewers, and grilled; the biggest difference is the spices used in the marinade.  I mix my marinade in a large mason jar that way I can shake it until all the ingredients are combined, then I pour the mixture into a large ziplock bag and place the chicken pieces inside.  I marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator and place them on skewers just before we grill them.

Another “secret” I’ve discovered in the Middle East is to let the cooked chicken skewers “set” in a large covered WARM pan for about 5-7 minutes before serving.  This lets the chicken soak up it’s juices and the meat comes out very tender and juicy.

In Lebanese restaurants in both Amman and Dubai Shish Taouk is usually served with french fries and hummus with pita bread.  I prefer to have it with steamed white rice.  You can even place the chicken (sans skewers) on a pita add sandwich fixings and have a Shish Taouk Sandwich.

Ingredients:

3 pounds chicken tenderloins – cut into cubes (each tenderloin will make 3-4 cubes)

1 cup lemon juice

3 Tbls.  minced garlic

1/2 cup FULL FAT Greek yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp.  white pepper

1/2 tsp.  ginger powder

1/2 tsp.  nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. chili powder

2 tbls.  tomato paste

salt to taste

Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs

Directions:

Place all ingredients except the chicken pieces in a large jar.

Shake jar until well combined.

Pour mixture into ziplock bag.

Add chicken cubes to bag.

Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to grill place 3-4 chicken cubes on to a skewer.

Grill until just done -do not over cook – chicken should be firm but not hard

Place skewers in warm covered pot for 5-7 minutes to set before serving.

Serve with your choice of starch and garlic sauce.  For garlic sauce recipe click here!  Enjoy!

Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Shish Taouk - Lebanese Chicken Kabobs
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Minutes 12 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except the chicken pieces in a large jar.
  2. Shake jar until well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into ziplock bag.
  4. Add chicken cubes to bag.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. When ready to grill place 3-4 chicken cubes on to a skewer.
  7. Grill until just done -do not over cook - chicken should be firm but not hard
  8. Place skewers in warm covered pot for 5-7 minutes to set before serving.
  9. Serve with your choice of starch and garlic sauce.
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Easy Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

Easy Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

Since returning from our summer vacation in Jordan and Dubai we’ve had a yen for the popular sandwich served everywhere in the Middle East, the ever popular Chicken Shawarma.

Shawarma is really meat, beef, chicken, veal, turkey, lamb, or a mixture of meats, grilled on a vertical spit; pretty much like how the Greeks prepare Gyros.  You see these spits almost on every corner around Amman.  This sandwich or plates are available from the corner snack shop to the food courts in the malls to even the high end restaurants around town.  They range in price from about $1 to $5 depending on where you buy it; but regardless of where you buy and how much you pay you’re almost sure to walk away with something delicious.

At home in Hawaii finding shawarma is nearly impossible, we have very few Greek restaurants and even fewer Middle Eastern ones.  I’m sure we’ve tried them all; some are adequate, but most we’ve found lacking.  The only way to get good Middle Eastern food is to make it at home.

So how was I supposed to make my favorite chicken shawarma?  I don’t own a vertical spit and wasn’t about to buy one; frankly I doubt I’d ever figure out how to use it.  Surely there was an easier way to make this yummy dish using equipment I already own, namely my stove.  I looked online and found several recipes that called for either oven roasting the chicken or frying it on the stove.   I didn’t care how it was cooked as long as it tasted good.  After experimenting with different spices I finally came up with a recipe that my husband says is almost exactly like the chicken shawarma we enjoyed in Amman.

Really the secret is in the marinade, that’s what makes the chicken tender and gives it that tangy spicy flavor.  I marinate the chicken over night, roast it in the oven, then make the sandwich on fresh pita with veggies and that oh so yummy garlic sauce.  The sauce is really a must for this sandwich, to learn how to make it click here.

Shawarma sandwiches are great for lunch, dinner, or snacks.  Really I can eat them all day long!  My grandsons love them too!

My recipe uses FULL FAT Greek Yogurt – I’ve tried it with the non-fat or low-fat yogurts, it doesn’t come out as tender.

Marinade Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken tenderloins – cut in half lengthwise
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp.  paprika
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 cup FULL FAT Greek yogurt

Sandwich Ingredients:

Fresh Pita or French bread
Garlic Sauce
Tomato slices
Cucumber slices
Sour Pickles

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a ziplock bag.
Put chicken pieces in bag and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Place marinated chicken on parchment covered baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes – turning chicken half-way thru the cooking time.

When the chicken is cooked put your sandwich together.  You can either cut the pita in half to form pockets you stuff with the chicken and other sandwich fixings or you can place all the fixings on top of the whole pita then roll it up tortilla style.  When I roll it up I like to wrap the bottom half in parchment or wax paper to keep the sandwich together.  Of course if you’re packing them to take along then it’s easier to roll them and wrap them in paper.

Which ever way you put the sandwich together first spread some of the garlic sauce on the bread – then put in the chicken and veggies then drizzle the whole thing with more garlic sauce.

It’s really yummy!  Enjoy!

For my Beef Shawarma Recipe click here!

Easy Chicken Shawarma Sandwich
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Sandwiches 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Sandwiches 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 12 Hours
Easy Chicken Shawarma Sandwich
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 Sandwiches 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 12 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 Sandwiches 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 12 Hours
Ingredients
Marinade
Sandwich Fixings
Servings: Sandwiches
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a ziplock bag.
  2. Put chicken pieces in bag and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Place marinated chicken on parchment covered baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes - turning chicken half-way thru the cooking time.
Recipe Notes

When the chicken is cooked put your sandwich together. You can either cut the pita in half to form pockets you stuff with the chicken and other sandwich fixings or you can place all the fixings on top of the whole pita then roll it up tortilla style. When I roll it up I like to wrap the bottom half in parchment or wax paper to keep the sandwich together. Of course if you're packing them to take along then it's easier to roll them and wrap them in paper.

Which ever way you put the sandwich together first spread some of the garlic sauce on the bread - then put in the chicken and veggies then drizzle the whole thing with more garlic sauce.

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