How to Make Chicken Souvlaki, Pita bread and Tzatziki
Greek Style Food is Delicious
Mediterranean cooking is all about flavour with herbs and spices and of course some wine.
If we all had to follow a Mediterranean diet, we would be healthy and we would extend our longevity by a couple of years.
The foods that are eaten do not include heavy gluten breads, fatty foods and the European way of cooking, definitely avoids the use of cooking oil and fatty fry ups.
The food is light and extremely healthy if eating healthy portions, which is what the Greeks, Italians and most of the Europeans do.
Greek cookery makes use of Olive oil, yoghurt, wine, vegetables, grains, fish and meats, pasta, lemon juice and olives.
Greek cuisine is absolutely mouth watering with a history of over four thousand years, originating from Ancient Greece through the Byzantine era and carried over to today.
The food is a part of the history and culture of Greece and in most Greek homes, you will experience the traditional food as it is a way of life.
For those of you who have run out of ideas in the kitchen, the Mediterranean cuisine or the Greek dishes are great for everyone to enjoy and you can pick from a number of dishes.
The dish I am going to give you a recipe for today is a light meal consisting of Chicken Souvlaki, Pita Bread and Tzatziki.
Homemade Pita Bread
Easy Pita Bread Recipe
Pita can be made either in the oven or on a flattop but I would recommend doing it on the flat top or grill on your stove because it comes out much nicer than it would in the oven as both sides are easy to flip and fluff.
I would suggest beginning with the breads before you begin the Chicken, as you do need yeast for this recipe and there is a waiting time for it to rise.
The Pita is light and used in most of the Mediterranean homes, you can either use the ones that have pockets, the filling goes into it, or you can use the flatbread type which is used for the Souvlaki as a wrap.
Pita is light and fluffy and it goes so well with Tzatziki. It is also nice to make the pita bread and then deep fry one or two of them to use with a Greek dip.
For the Pita Bread:
- 1 cup warm water, not hot or cold
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 to 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
For the Souvlaki Marinade:
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 bay leaves
For the Tzatziki:
- 3/4 cucumber, peeled, sliced and diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups Greek yoghurt, plain
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Instructions for the Pita
- Mix the water and the yeast together and let it stand for about 5 minutes or until it looks frothy
- Add three cups of flour, gradually, salt and olive oil and stir until it becomes a dough
- Add some flour onto a clean flat surface and place the dough onto the surface, kneading ten to twenty times or until the dough feels smooth and elastic.
- Line a clean bowl with a little bit of olive oil, add the dough into the bowl and cover it with a dish towel. Allow it to stand for 1 to 2 hours or until the dough has risen.
- Once it has risen you can divide it into 8 pieces and roll it out, cut it and place it into the pan (spray the pan with spray n cook)
- Watch bubbles begin to form and then flip your dough for 2minutes or until each side is browned.
This dish originated from Athens and each bite bursts with flavour, the meat is tender and the best Chicken to use is breast, which I would marinate overnight to allow the flavour to soak into the chicken.
The word Souvlaki translates into "skewered meat" and the meat is tender because it is grilled but the mot important part about this street food, is the marinade.
When I am at home, I tend to forget about the skewers and I cook the Chicken in a dish in the oven, the taste is the same and the meat is even more tender than on the skewers. The only problem with doing it this way is that you have a lot of juice left over which could make the Pita soggy.
The first step to making the Souvlaki is making the marinade. That will be the first recipe and all you need is about 6 to 8 chicken breasts, preferably boneless.
The marinade is very important as it gives the meat its full flavour and when cooking it in the oven with a lid on it, all of the herbs are absorbed and the meat is given the flavours of the Mediterranean.
Cook it slowly and another important tip is to ensure that your chicken has been defrosted way before the time as you do not want the meat to be tough.
Instructions for the Chicken Souvlaki
Cut up 6 to 8 chicken breasts into cubes. Remove fat and try to use boneless chicken.
Once you have made your marinade, soak the chicken cubes overnight.
You can either place the chicken cubes onto skewers for the truly authentic Greek style meal or you can place the marinated chicken pieces into an oven proof bowl on medium heat of about 160C or 320F for about 30 to 40 minutes, allowing the marinade to cook through the chicken.
Remove from the oven a place the skewers onto a plate with some olives, pieces of tomato and some sliced onion.
Instructions for Tzatziki
Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl and place it into the fridge until you are absolutely ready to serve your meal.
The cucumber must be completely chopped and it should not be chunky.
Using a Greek double thick yoghurt will make a world of difference in taste.
Do not add or remove an ingredient so that you can get the correct flavours.
This is also great to eat with the fried pita bread and it is so refreshing that you could even use it for a breakfast.
Greek Dessert Options
The Greek cuisine is rather easy to make but there is a lot of prep that goes into each dish, therefore I don't really have the time to make a dessert to go with the food but there are a number of options for you to try.
I have attempted to make Baklava but if you are in a hurry then avoid the intricate dishes and find something easy to make.
- Loukomadies - mini doughnuts
- Greek milk custard pudding
- Watermelon in a honey syrup with cinnamon yoghurt (cut the watermelon into cubes
- Add honey to warm water and pour it onto the watermelon
- put cinnamon into a plain Greek yoghurt and add that as a side next to the watermelon. Its refreshing and very tasty as well as healthy.
- Rice pudding
- Place milk and rice in a saucepan over medium heat until it is cooked and creamy
- Add sugar, vanilla essence and a drop it into the rice on the pan
- Take a teaspoon if corn flour and mix it with a bit of water to add into the rice dish for thickening.
- Serve immediately and add a drop of Strawberry jam onto the top
You can search for the dessert options and you will find many for you to try. If you are going all out to prep the Greek cuisine then why not make the dessert too?
What Drinks should I serve with Greek Food?
Light red or white wines go with the Souvlaki and Pita dish. You can also try Ouzo which is a clear spirit with an aniseed base, served diluted.
If it is a lunch that you are making then lemon water is refreshing and if you are in the mood for something else, then wine is always a good option, especially a rose or a light white wine, to compliment the food.
Make it interesting and get the traditional Metaxa ( similar to brandy)
and end off the meal, after dessert with a Greek coffee.
Greek Music for your Dinner Party
Chicken Souvlaki Nutritional Value
|Serving size: 1 skewer|
|Calories from Fat||72|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 8 g||12%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 61 g||20%|
|Sugar 1 g|
|Fiber 0 g|
|Protein 19 g||38%|
|Sodium 270 mg||11%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Greek Cuisine Chicken Souvlaki with homemade pita and tzatziki
© 2020 Natasha Pelati