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Grilled Greek-Yogurt Chicken Souvlaki with Spicy Avocado Tzatziki
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Grilled Greek-Yogurt Chicken Souvlaki with Spicy Avocado Tzatziki

In the Greek diet, there’s souvlaki! Yes, indeed, it’s one of the classics of the Greek table. When cooked with a healthy twist it meets all the requirements of classic Mediterranean diet dining. This Greek recipe for chicken souvlaki relies on two popular Mediterranean diet ingredients, Greek yogurt and Greek extra virgin olive oil. The natural acidity of Greek yogurt marinades helps tenderize the chicken! Of course, almost no Greek recipe is complete without a healthy dose of extra virgin Greek olive oil. Classic Greek dried herbs play a role, too. In this case I use savory, which you can easily replace with Greek oregano! Enjoy!!

PREP TIME 1 hour
COOK TIME 12 minutes
SERVES 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large boneless chicken breasts cut lengthwise into 11/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 2 generous tablespoons Dijon or other mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or less, to taste
  • 1 scant teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried Greek savory
  • 2 tablespoons Petimezi grape molasses
  • ½ cup fresh strained orange juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the Avocado Tzatziki

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 seedless cucumber preferably organic, seeded and unpeeled, cut into a fine dice
  • 1 firm ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh strained lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • A few drops of hot sauce to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin Greek olive oil or more, as desired

Instructions

  1. Pound the chicken breasts lightly with a meat mallet to flatten them a bit and make it easier to thread onto skewers. Cut the chicken breasts into strips lengthwise, about 1 ½ inches wide.
  2. Whisk together the cup of Greek yogurt, half cup of olive oil, mustard, cayenne, cumin, savory, petimezi, orange juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Swirl the chicken strips in this mixture, turning to coat. Refrigerate, covered for at least an hour or up to 8.
  3. Soak 12 – 16 wooden skewers in water for a half hour before using them. Alternatively, use metal skewers.
  4. Preheat the grill or broiler to medium. Thread the marinated chicken strips onto the skewers. Grill or broil the skewers, turning to cook on all sides. They should take about 10 – 12 minutes in total.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, make the avocado tzatziki: Mix the yogurt, cucumber, avocado, garlic, lemon juice, salt, hot sauce and olive oil together. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  6. Remove the skewers and serve on a platter with a bowl or two of the avocado tzatziki as accompaniment.