Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce

Last week we ate pizza twice. Then we had some pasta baked with a creamy garlicky white sauce, sun dried tomatoes, and lemony roasted broccoli. Then we thought maybe we would top that off with a rather large meal out and some fried foods. Somewhere along the way a dozen cookies were consumed. What a good week. I promise we had salads for lunch, most days, okay maybe twice. Someone had to draw the line. At least for one night.

Thus I made chicken souvlaki, a wonderful lemony grilled chicken Greek dish. Remember we make nothing in this kitchen that does not taste awesome. Well sometimes we do but every kitchen has its failures. But bland food will not be made in the name of health. Luckily it doesn't have to be.

The secret to keeping grilled chicken breasts and pork chops, loins etc. from drying out on the grill is to brine them. Brining is effortless. A quart of water and 2 tablespoon of salt. Let your meat soak for at least 30 minutes. You will get all the char and none of the jerky like texture people often fall victim to on the grill. This meal was loved in our house for both its ease and bright flavors. You can eat it to be a little healthier or you can eat it because it's delicious. My reasons for eating are always the later.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, serves 4

Tzatziki Sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1/2 a cucumber, peeled and diced
2 tbs fresh mint, minced
2 tbs dried dill

Whisk together all the ingredients. Cover and set aside.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs dried parsley
Zest of 1 lemon plus 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 yellow onion, halved and each half cut into 4 chunks

Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt into 1 quart cold water. Place chicken breasts in the salt water, cover, refrigerate, and let brine for at least 30 minutes.

While the chicken is brining, mix together olive oil, parsley, lemon zest and juice, honey, oregano, salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Toss chicken with 1/2 the oil mixture and thread onto skewers alternating with onion chunks. This should make about 6 skewers.

Turn all the burners on the grill to hot and let heat. Oil you grate with nonstick spray. Grill skewers 15-20 minutes, rotating every few minutes. Make sure the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken and onions from the skewers and toss with remaining oil mixture. Serve over couscous.

To serve
1 package of prepared couscous

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