Chicken Souvlaki & Tzatziki

The recipe for this Greek classic adapted from Canadian Living Magazine, is about twenty years old. Today I made the rainy-day version, cooked in a hot pan inside. If the weather is pleasant, soak some wooden skewers, thread the marinated chicken chunks and get out and grill them. Try and find pillowy-soft pita bread for these sandwiches and avoid the thin, chewy, pocket pitas for best results. You could even use naan if you have it. I have to say, this is the BEST EVER tzatziki.

Souvlaki with Tzatziki

makes 8 sandwiches

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breast or lean pork, cut into 2 inch chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 pita breads

Tzatziki Sauce
1 small English cucumber
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups plain GREEK yogurt
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 of a large green pepper, or 1 whole small, finely diced

Method
1. In a one-cup measure, combine oil, lemon juice, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes, and garlic. Place chicken in a plastic freezer bag and pour marinade over top. Massage marinade into chicken and refrigerate for at least one hour.

2. To make the tzatziki sauce: Halve the cucumber lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and discard. Cut the two cucumber halves in half lengthwise once again and then dice. Place the cucumber in a strainer over a bowl and toss with salt. Let drain for 30 minutes. Discard liquid. Combine Greek yogurt (regular yogurt can be substituted but it will need to be drained over a sieve and pressed for 15 minutes, but will not be as thick and rich as the Greek), mint, coriander, garlic, hot pepper sauce, green pepper and cucumber.

3. Thread the chicken cubes on wooden skewers (soak for 30 minutes to prevent them burning on the grill) and broil or BBQ. You can also cook the cubes in a very hot pan on the stove. Drain the marinade off first. Cook through until no longer pink.

4. Serve chicken in warmed pita bread, topped with fresh tzatziki and hot sauce to taste.

Click HERE for a printable version of this recipe.

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