Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tzatziki Chicken Skewers

I'm lover Greek fare.  Gyros are my "go to" whenever we frequent the local Greek restaurant.  They're refreshing, lite and bursting with flavor.  Every gyro, unless otherwise specified, is topped with a creamy white sauce that is full of cucumber, dill and garlic.  It's full of sublte flavor that compliments numerous types of meat without being overpowering.
Gyros are definitely one of those things that are filling without weighing you down.  They are also portable, but if they sit for any length of time the pita ends up getting soggy and it becomes a hassle to eat.  When I started thinking of foods that are perfect for thost hot summer days, gyros were one of the first things to pop into my head.  But then I started thinking about the predicament that some people would face if they tried to make these in advance to enjoy at a park, on a boat or wherever else they wanted to venture.  If they tried to make a gyro early one morning before heading out, then it would be all soggy and not so wonderful by the lunch time.
I started thinking, how do you make a gyro more "picnic" friendly?  Then it popped in my head, put it on a skewer.  Take some of the delicious elements of those ever so infamous gyros and put them on a stick and serve it with Tzatziki sauce.  It's simple, quick to assemble, portable and can be enjoyed with warm chicken right off the grill or served room temperature or chilled. 
This is one of those items that can be made and enjoyed immediately, but can also be made in advance.  While we enjoyed the chicken grilled, it can just as easily be baked.  These can be assembled hours or even the day before an event.  It's something that can easily be made in bulk and the perfect party food!  You can serve them simply with the tzatziki sauce, or have a plate of pitas or flatbread along with some lettuce for people to make their own wrap or gyro.  The options are simply endless.

Tzatziki Chicken Skewers
Ingredients:

For the skewers-
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup grape tomatoes
1 Medium cucumber, sliced
1/4 Tsp garlic powder
Salt
Pepper

For the Tzatziki sauce-
1 Cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 Cup cucumber, seeds removed and shredded (approximately 1 medium cucumber)
1 1/2 Tbsp dill, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 Tsp garlic powder
1-1 1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

For the skewers-
Turn grill on and allow to heat.  Reduce flames to a low-medium heat.

Meanwhile, cut chicken breasts into tenderloins (lengthwise).  Season with salt and pepper.

Once the grill is heated, place chicken on grill and cook until juices run clear and cooked through.  Remove from grill and allow rest for 5 minutes.  Cut the cooked chicken into 1 inch cubes.

To assemble the skewers-
Place a tomato on a skewer, followed by a slice of cucumber, then by a piece of chicken.  Continue the process until the skewer is full.  Repeat process with remaining skewers, I was able to make about 4 generously sized skewers.

For the sauce-
Place the shredded cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt.  Set aside and allow to stand for at least 5 minutes.  Place cucumbers in a clean towel or paper towel and squeeze to drain any excess liquid.

In a small bowl combine the yogurt, mint, dill, garlic powder, lemon juice, and cucubmers and stir to incorporate.  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste, adjust seasonings if needed.  Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

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