Today’s recipe is in partnership with Smart Chicken. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
This Chicken Souvlaki Recipe is the perfect warm weather grilling recipe. You will love how tender the chicken thigh meat gets from the lemony Mediterranean marinade. The chicken is served with tzatziki and served on a pita with your favorite Greek ingredients!
CHICKEN SOUVLAKI RECIPE
As we approach warmer weather I am excited to be celebrating grilling season today in partnership with Smart Chicken.
You can locate their delicious chicken at this link near you!
This Chicken Souvlaki Recipe is the perfect way to kick off grilling season. You can’t beat chicken skewers that are marinated in a light, lemony marinade and grilled to create a juicy, tender piece of chicken.
If you aren’t familiar with Chicken Souvlaki, you are in for a treat.
A few years ago Mike and I traveled to Greece and fell in love with Chicken Souvlaki.
It is a poplar street food that we found in Athens and ate a lot in Greek restaurants.
It wasn’t hard for me to fall in love since I love lemons and the souvlaki marinade uses a lemony marinade for the chicken.
Along with the lemon juice you will use extra virgin olive oil, a lot of garlic, paprika, oregano and thyme to create the perfect combination of flavors.
And an added bonus is that this is an easy recipe to make for your family using simple ingredients.
You might be wondering “What is Chicken Souvlaki?”
Souvlaki is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer.
In this case I used boneless skinless chicken thighs but you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders and cut them into cubes of meat.
In Greece they often make Pork Souvlaki but it can also be made using chicken, beef and sometimes lamb.
I personally love using chicken because the chicken becomes so tender and juicy when marinaded and grilled.
We like to serve our Chicken Souvlaki on pita bread with tzatziki and a variety of other Greek toppings like kalamata olives, cucumber, parsley, tomatoes and feta.
WHAT IS SMART CHICKEN?
As I mentioned, today I am partnering with Smart Chicken to bring you this delicious recipe.
I am excited to share more with you guys about their delicious chicken products and their mission.
QUALITY: When I use Smart Chicken I can tell the difference compared to other brands, which I attribute to their organic, air chilled chicken. It really is the best chicken in my opinion.
CARE: They believe that the quality of their end product—the taste—is affected by every aspect of how the chickens are raised, fed, and handled, starting in the egg. This makes me as a consumer very happy!
LOCATION: Another thing I love about Smart Chicken is that they are located in the heart of the Midwest.
Being a Midwestern girl most of my life I am always looking for companies from the Midwest to support.
They wanted to utilize the fact that the vast majority of feed grains produced in this country are produced in the Midwest, and corn and soybeans are the dominant feed sources for chickens.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHICKEN GYROS AND CHICKEN SOUVLAKI?
I ate a lot of gyros and souvlaki in Greece! I love them both equally.
Gyros are made by thinly slicing meat that is grilled on a vertical rotisserie.
You often see pork or chicken used but can also be made from beef or lamb.
Gyros are often served in warm pita bread as a wrap but I have also seen it served on a platter with roasted vegetables, Greek potatoes or fries and tzatziki.
Souvlaki is grilled pieces of meat, like chicken or pork, served on skewers. It is often served on a pita or on a platter with tzatziki, vegetables and potatoes.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN CHICKEN SOUVLAKI SKEWERS?
- 2 pounds of Smart Chicken Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Red wine vinegar
- Dried oregano
- Dried thyme
- Salt & pepper
HOW DO YOU MAKE CHICKEN SOUVLAKI?
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and put them in a large Ziploc bag or glass tupperware container and pour in the marinade.
Seal the bag or close the container and toss to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate the chicken for up to two hours but at least for a 1/2 of an hour.
When you are ready to grill the chicken heat the outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
Remove the chicken from the fridge and take the chicken from the container or bag and discard the marinade.
Set out a large platter or wooden cutting board. Thread the chicken onto the wood or metal skewers.
Put in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the Greek salad combine the cucumber, tomato, olives, parsley, oregano and feta cheese in a medium mixing bowl.
Refrigerate the salad until ready to use.
Brush the grates with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
Add the chicken to the grill and cook for about 7-8 minutes, turning once. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Remove from the grill. Serve the chicken skewers with pita, greek salad and tzatziki.
WHAT SHOULD I PAIR WITH MY GREEK CHICKEN SOUVLAKI RECIPE?
In my opinion the best topping for Greek souvlaki is Greek Salad. I often make a big bowl of this Village Greek Salad, Greek Chickpea Salad or this Greek Tabbouleh and add it to a Chicken Souvlaki Pita.
WHAT TOPPINGS SHOULD I PUT ON CHICKEN SOUVLAKI?
- FETA CHEESE
- RED ONION
- FRESH PARSLEY
- FRESH DILL
- KALAMATA OLIVES
COOKING TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS
- When you cut the chicken pieces make sure you try to keep them the same size so they cook evenly. I try to stick to 1-inch cubes but you can do larger if you want.
- The marinade is what really infuses the flavors into the chicken. You can to at least marinade the chicken for a 1/2 hour but ideally for 2 hours in the fridge. I don’t do much more than that because the lemon will start to break down the chicken.
- This recipe is great for leftovers and honestly I like it more the next day. I use it for rice bowls, drizzle creamy tzatziki sauce over it, pair it with hummus or add it over a chopped salad.
- You can make these into Greek Chicken Kabobs. To do this I suggest cutting the chicken into larger chunks and adding sliced vegetables and rotate in the chicken.
FOR THE MARINADE
- 2 Lemons, juiced
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
FOR THE TZATZIKI
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt, 2% or whole milk yogurt works best
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill
- 2 cups of grated cucumber, about 1 small cucumber, squeeze out the excess juice from the cucumber
- Dash of salt and pepper
FOR GREEK SALAD
- 1/2 of an english cucumber, diced
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup of feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and put them in a large Ziploc bag or glass tupperware container and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag or close the container and toss to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate the chicken for up to two hours but at least for a 1/2 of an hour.
- Before grilling soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes unless you are using metal skewers.
- When you are ready to grill the chicken heat the grill to medium high heat. Remove the chicken from the fridge and take the chicken from the container or bag and discard the marinade.
- Set out a large platter or wooden cutting board. Thread the chicken onto the wood or metal skewers.
- While the grill is heating make the Tzatziki sauce by combining the Greek yogurt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Put in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make the Greek salad combine the cucumber, tomato, olives, parsley, oregano and feta cheese in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a mason jar or salad dressing container combine the lemon juice and olive oil and then pour on the salad and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate the salad until ready to use.
- Brush the grates with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking.
- Add the chicken to the grill and cook for about 7-8 minutes, turning once. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove from the grill. Serve the chicken skewers with pita, greek salad and tzatziki.