Spending a few years growing up in Cyprus, Souvlaki was a common part of my diet. We ate out most nights. This was before Cyprus became more commercialised, so it was cheap to eat out.
Souvlaki is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. Often served with a flatbread or pita and also goes great with a Greek salad on the side. This recipe is for Chicken Souvlaki, but can easily use lamb, beef, pork or fish as the main meat with the dish. You can also easily add vegetables if you choose to.
I really like the simplicity of this dish. The marinade is made up of 5 ingredients, most of which will be common ingredients in your kitchen. Mix them together and then leave to marinate overnight. You can reduce the time marinating but doing it overnight helps the chicken absorb the flavours. It also helps in the cooking process by keeping your meat moist and reducing the burn potential.
I also purchased some Russian Skewers (£7.99 from Manchester Vacs) which makes the cooking of these even easier. They span the circumference of a 57cm Weber BBQ, so don’t sit on the grill but directly over the coals. I would highly recommend you get a set of these if you like cooking skewered food on your BBQ. It will really improve the quality of your cook.
To serve, I make a greek salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, oregano, olive oil and feta cheese. I add some greek yoghurt to the plate and on occasion serve with either Tzatziki or Houmous. Finally, a pitta or flatbread really finishes this dish off.
I would love to hear what you think of this dish or if you have any tweaks to the recipe that you think to improve it.
- 800 g Chicken Breast (diced)
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil (extra virgin)
- 1 Rind of a Lemon
- 1 Juice of a Lemon
- 2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl: olive oil, lemon rind, lemon juice, crushed garlic and oregano.
- Mix the ingredient well and then add the diced chicken. Ensure you mix the chicken and the marinade really well, ensuring you get a good covering on all the chicken.
- Cover and put in the fridge for at least 6 hours, but I would recommend overnight.
- Get the chicken out before you light your BBQ just to bring the temperature of the meat up a little.
- Light your BBQ and set it up for direct cooking. Whist the coals are coming up to cooking temperature skewer the chicken.
- With the Russian Skewers, these take about 16 minutes. I typically rotate them every 5 minutes. If you are placing these directly on the grill you may need to keep more of an eye on them.
- If you are worried about the cooking time it is worth getting an instant-read thermometer, such as a Thermapen to check the internal temp. When the meat reads 75°C you know the chicken is cooked.
- Take the chicken off the BBQ and serve with your salad, bread and dips