Griddled Chicken Souvlaki Bowls

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Griddled Chicken Souvlaki Bowls

Yoghurt marinated chicken with peppers, onions and and herbs, griddled to crispy perfection and served with fresh herbs and rice pilaf.

Now that’s Monday food.

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I’d love to go to Greece and try this in situ. The white sandy beaches, pale houses and amazing food sounds like heaven right now. I’m in the middle of interview prep and finishing off a big paper, so I’m taking a break at home, prepping a Greek feast and enjoying a brief change in writing style (and gazing at this picture and pretending I have a nice glass of red in my hand!).

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I think you generally use lamb for souvlaki in Greece, I’m not sure. And I’ve seen salmon souvlaki a few times like this sumptuous offering from Half Baked Harvest, but I didn’t fancy anything that rich today. Chicken is fabulous and versatile, plus it really absorbs the yoghurt during the long marinade so I shouldn’t easily overcook and dry out.

Skewer it up, griddle it on the hob (or BBQ if if you manage to find one precious warm day this summer!) to get that tasty blackened outer layer, without overcooking the inside. But make sure you use plenty of oil or the yoghurt will prevent that tasty crunch. Served with mixed antipasti, Kalamata olives and some pitta for the ultimate fresh, healthy dinner.

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Ingredients

For the marinated chicken:

  • 150ml Greek yoghurt
  • 4 chicken breast fillets, cubed
  • 1 tsp each dried thyme, parsley and oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • pinch of salt and pepper

For the veggies/serving:

  • 1 pepper, quartered
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 handful olives
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • warmed pita bread, for serving
  • 1 batch of my homemade hummus
  • Lemon and garlic microwave rice
  • 1 bunch chopped coriander

Method

Combine all of the chicken marinade ingredients with a large perspex/glass bowl. If you find you don’t have enough yoghurt or it’s too thick, add a glug of good quality olive oil. This will also help keep the chicken super tender. Stir well to completely cover the chicken, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for as long as possible (mine marinated for about 10 hours).

Half an hour before serving, chop the veggies and combine in a bowl with the lemon juice, parsley and garlic with a touch of olive oil. Heat up a griddle pan over a high heat and add the veggies to saute super hot. The skin of the pepper and tomatoes should blacken and char.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the grill/griddle pan to medium high heat and thread 4 to 5 cubes of chicken on each skewer. Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side, charring the chicken until well-cooked all the way through. I cheated and used microwave rice, adding a squeeze of lemon juice, crushed garlic, chopped olives, seasoning and herbs to kick it up a notch but if not boil up around 60g rice per person according to packet instructions and add the same.

Divide the rice among your prettiest shallow bowls.  layer with some of the charred veggies and 1-2 chicken skewers. Sprinkle with your favourite store-cupboard finds, from hummus to feta cheese, extra herbs and seasoned Greek yoghurt. Finally serve with warm pita bread and hope for a sunny evening.

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