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chicken souvlaki skewers with tzatziki sauce and a greek village salad


Chicken Souvlaki Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce and a Greek Village Salad

While actively looking for ways to use up both garden tomatoes and cucumbers, I came across these recipes from my files.  Way back, before Covid, when you could go out for a cooking class, I took a fresh Mediterranean flavors class at Sur La Table in San Francisco.  I've made these recipes several times, they make a fairly simple and tasty summer dinner, just hope that the power doesn't go out with no warning on the hottest night of the year when you're in the middle of putting dinner on the table, like it happened to us last Friday night.  Skewers are better made on the grill and I prefer using metal skewers as you don't have to worry about soaking them, they can also be used again and again.  I also got into my preserved lemons, chopped one up and put it in the chicken marinade, that's optional but a great idea if you have them on hand.  When the heat wave is over and I can turn on my oven, I'm going to bake and share the recipe for a polenta olive oil cake that is a perfect dessert for this Mediterranean meal.

Ingredients and Recipes for Chicken Souvlaki Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce
makes 3-4 servings

for the chicken souvlaki marinade:
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon aged sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 
1 tablespoon finely chopped preserved lemon, optional but good
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
Metal skewers

Add all the marinade ingredients to a medium size bowl and whisk to combine.  
Add the chicken and toss to cover in marinade.
Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile make the tzatziki sauce and the greek village salad.
When ready to grill, remove the chicken from marinade and thread the pieces on the metal skewers.
Preheat the grill to medium high heat and grill skewers until grill marked and cooked through, about 7-8 minutes, turn the skewers as they cook.
Transfer the skewers to a platter, serving with the tzatziki sauce and the greek village salad.

for the tzatziki sauce:
1/4 English cucumber
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional
1 cup whole milk greek style yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
freshly ground black pepper

Peel and grate the cucumber, place in a sieve and toss with the salt, wait about 10 minutes then press with the back of a wooden spoon to expel any liquid.
Transfer the drained cucumber to a small bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine.
Taste and season salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Note: optional idea,  stir in cubes of feta.

for the greek village salad:
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 English cucumber, diced
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 cups sliced romaine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons ground sumac, plus more for sprinkling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup halved and quartered small tomatoes
2 pieces of pita bread, toasted and torn into bite size pieces
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 
1/4 cup pitted, sliced Kalamata olives

In a large salad bowl, combine the bell pepper, cucumber, shallots, herbs and romaine.
In a small bowl whisk to combine the garlic, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, sumac, salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and mix together.
Toss in the chopped tomatoes, pita bread, feta and olives., sprinkle with additional sumac.
Serve with the skewers and tzatziki sauce.


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