Yogurt Marinated Chicken Souvlaki

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Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

As I have mentioned in my previous post, apart from Valentine’s, here in Greece we have our carnival period. It lasts three weeks during which people and especially children get dressed in funny costumes.

This period precedes the long fastening period before Easter and people consume meat, as they know that a period of 40 days of lent is just around the corner, during which meat is forbidden. Of course this is not obligatory and stands only for people who wish to follow exactly what the Greek Orthodox Church requires.

The first week is for spreading the news that the carnival has started. The second week is the meat week. During this week people eat meat without having to fasten on Wednesdays and Fridays. The last week of the carnival is called cheese week. During this period people consume cheese and dairy products as an intermediate stage between the free eating and drinking and the 40 days of lent.

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Carnival goes back to the ancient years and the worship of Dionysus. Dionysus as is his name in Greek was the god of wine, winemaking grapes, ritual madness and ecstasy in our mythology. He was the last one accepted to join the twelve gods of Mt. Olympus.

Dionysus has been depicted in many forms. In some cases he was shown as a mature man with beard and robe. He was holding a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone known as thyrsus. He was followed by wild females called Maenads and bearded satyrs. As Wikipedia says: “Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.”

He was the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, thus semi-divine.

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When Christianity prevailed in Greece, church tried to eradicate all these paganistic fests. In some cases they succeeded, but in others, it was almost impossible to erase all these customs from people’s everyday lives, thus they chose to include them somehow in the new religion. This is the case with carnival. It is a reminiscent of the ancient fests in honor of Dionysus where people were dressed up, danced and singed while drinking big amounts of wine. So, for three weeks and mainly during weekends people have the chance to dress up in a costume and go out and have fun. Especially children enjoy this fest very much, as they get dressed and go to parties.

Just like the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, here as well in many Greek cities, the municipalities organize carnival parades and several events for which I am going to talk to you in my next post and also show you some pictures.

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The reason I chose to make a post about this souvlaki is because we are in the middle of our carnival and thus people consume a lot of meat before they enter the long period of lent before Easter. This Souvlaki was marinated for three days in the yogurt sauce and I can tell you it was so juicy and tasty that we couldn’t stop eating more and more. I served it with a mint yogurt sauce, chopped onion with parsley and pitas. If you decide to make it spicy, then this yogurt sauce is the perfect accompaniment as it will chill the hotness of the souvlaki. In any case, spicy or not, we all loved the refreshing touch of this mint sauce on our souvlaki.

Chicken Souvlaki.JPG  

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Souvlaki

 

For the Chicken Skewers

1 kilo / 2 lb. chicken breasts or thighs, boneless, skinless

9 to 10 skewers

9 to 10 pitas

1.5 cup yogurt

1.5 tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili pepper (optional)

1 tomato cut in slices

1 green bell pepper cut in squares

Some margarine for sautéing the pitas

  Chicken Souvlaki.JPG

For the Yogurt/Mint Sauce

2/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 tbsp fresh mint

¼ tsp dried mint

½ tsp sugar

½ tsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove minced

½ tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

Pinch of paprika

 

For the Onion

1 onion chopped

2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

  Chicken Souvlaki.JPG

Instructions

For the Chicken Skewers

Two to three days before the day of serving.

Cut the chicken in cubes about 3 cm / 1 in. each side.

In a bowl mix the yogurt, salt, garlic, cumin and pepper.

Add the chicken and mix to cover it.

Put it covered in the fridge and let it stay for two to three days.

  Chicken Souvlaki.JPG

For the Yogurt/Mint Sauce

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and put it in the fridge for couple of hours before serving the souvlakia.

 

For the Chicken Souvlaki

Preheat oven to 225° C / 435° F.

The day of serving take the wooden skewers and put them in cold water for 15 minutes.

Take out of the fridge the chicken pieces and pierce about 5 pieces on each skewer and 1 piece of tomato and pepper alternately.

For example I put 1 chicken piece, 1 tomato piece, two chicken pieces, 1 pepper piece and I chicken piece to conclude, but you can do whatever you like, since this doesn’t affect the result.

Take a pan and cover it with parchment paper.

Place the chicken skewers and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes turning the skewers once.

  Chicken Souvlaki.JPG

For the Pitas

While the skewers are in the oven you can prepare the pitas.

In a skillet add a tsp of butter or margarine and in medium/high heat sauté each pita on both sides.

Repeat for every pita.

Salt them while warm.

Remove and keep warm.

Chicken Souvlaki.JPG  

Mix the onion and parsley.

 

Assembly

Take a pita, add the chicken skewer and cover with some onion and parsley.

Serve with the Yogurt/Mint sauce on the side.

Chicken Souvlaki.JPG

4.9 from 7 reviews
Yogurt Marinated Chicken Souvlaki
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
For the Chicken Skewers
  • 1 kilo / 2 lb. chicken breasts or thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 9 to 10 skewers
  • 9 to 10 pitas
  • 1.5 cup yogurt
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili pepper (optional)
  • 1 tomato cut in slices
  • 1 green bell pepper cut in squares
  • Some margarine for sautéing the pitas
For the Yogurt/Mint Sauce
  • ⅔ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • ¼ tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika
For the Onion
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
For the Chicken Skewers
  1. Two to three days before the day of serving.
  2. Cut the chicken in cubes about 3 cm / 1 in. each side.
  3. In a bowl mix the yogurt, salt, garlic, cumin and pepper.
  4. Add the chicken and mix to cover it.
  5. Put it covered in the fridge and let it stay for two to three days.
For the Yogurt/Mint Sauce
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and put it in the fridge for couple of hours before serving the souvlakia.
For the Chicken Souvlaki
  1. Preheat oven to 225° C / 435° F.
  2. The day of serving take the wooden skewers and put them in cold water for 15 minutes.
  3. Take out of the fridge the chicken pieces and pierce about 5 pieces on each skewer and 1 piece of tomato and pepper alternately.
  4. For example I put 1 chicken piece, 1 tomato piece, two chicken pieces, 1 pepper piece and I chicken piece to conclude, but you can do whatever you like, since this doesn’t affect the result.
  5. Take a pan and cover it with parchment paper.
  6. Place the chicken skewers and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes turning the skewers once.
For the Pitas
  1. While the skewers are in the oven you can prepare the pitas.
  2. In a skillet add a tsp of butter or margarine and in medium/high heat sauté each pita on both sides.
  3. Repeat for every pita.
  4. Salt them while warm.
  5. Remove and keep warm.
  6. Mix the onion and parsley.
Assembly
  1. Take a pita, add the chicken skewer and cover with some onion and parsley.
  2. Serve with the Yogurt/Mint sauce on the side.

4.9 from 7 reviews
Μαριναρισμένο σε Γιαούρτι Κοτόπουλο Σουβλάκι
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
Για τα Σουβλάκια Κοτόπουλο
  • 1 κιλό στήθη κοτόπουλου ή μπουτάκια χωρίς κόκαλο και δέρμα
  • 9 έως 10 καλαμάκια
  • 9 έως 10 πίτες
  • 1,5 φλ. γιαούρτι
  • 1,5 κ.γ. αλάτι
  • 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο, λιωμένο
  • ½ κ.γ. κύμινο
  • 1 κ.γ. πιπέρι καγιέν ή τσίλι πιπέρι (προαιρετικά)
  • 1 ντομάτα, κομμένη σε φέτες
  • 1 πράσινη πιπεριά κομμένη σε τετράγωνα
  • Λίγη μαργαρίνη για τις πίτες
Για τη Σάλτσα Γιαουρτιού/Δυόσμου
  • ⅔ φλ. γιαούρτι
  • 1 κ.σ. φρέσκο δυόσμο
  • ¼ κ.σ. ξηρό δυόσμο
  • ½ κ.γ. ζάχαρη
  • ½ κ.γ. σκόνη σκόρδο ή 1 σκόρδο, λιωμένο
  • ½ κ.γ. αλάτι
  • 1 κ.γ. ελαιόλαδο
  • Μία πρέζα πάπρικα
Για το Κρεμμύδι
  • 1 κρεμμύδι ψιλοκομμένο
  • 2 κ.σ. φρέσκο μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
Για τα Σουβλάκια Κοτόπουλο
  1. Δύο έως τρεις ημέρες πριν από την ημέρα που θα φτιαχτούν.
  2. Κόψτε το κοτόπουλο σε κύβους περίπου 3 cm κάθε πλευρά.
  3. Σε ένα μπολ ανακατέψτε το γιαούρτι, αλάτι, σκόρδο, κύμινο και το πιπέρι.
  4. Προσθέστε το κοτόπουλο και ανακατέψτε έτσι ώστε το μίγμα να καλύψει το κοτόπουλο.
  5. Βάλτε μία μεμβράνη και φυλαξτε το στο ψυγείο και αφήστε το να μείνει για δύο έως τρεις ημέρες.
Για τη Σάλτσα Γιαουρτιού/Δυόσμου
  1. Ανακατέψτε όλα τα υλικά σε ένα μπολ και βάλτε στο ψυγείο για μερικές ώρες πριν από το σερβίρισμα.
Για το Σουβλάκι Κοτόπουλο
  1. Προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 225° C.
  2. Την ημέρα που θα τα ψήσετε πάρτε τα ξύλινα σουβλάκια και βάλτε τα σε κρύο νερό για 15 λεπτά.
  3. Βγάλτε από το ψυγείο τα κομμάτια κοτόπουλο και περάστε περίπου 5 κομμάτια σε κάθε σουβλάκι μαζί με 1 κομμάτι ντομάτα και πιπεριά εναλλάξ.
  4. Πάρτε ένα ταψί και καλύψτε το με χαρτί ψησίματος.
  5. Τοποθετήστε τα σουβλάκια και ψήστε για περίπου 30 έως 35 λεπτά γυρίζοντάς τα μία φορά.
Για τις Πίτες
  1. Ενώ τα σουβλάκια είναι στο φούρνο, μπορείτε να ετοιμάσετε τις πίτες.
  2. Σε ένα τηγάνι προσθέστε ένα κουταλάκι του γλυκού βούτυρο ή μαργαρίνη και σωτάρετε σε μέτρια/υψηλή θερμότητα κάθε πίτα και από τις δύο πλευρές.
  3. Αλατίστε τις ενώ είναι ζεστές.
  4. Βγάλτε τις και κρατήστε τις ζεστές.
  5. Ανακατέψτε το κρεμμύδι και το μαϊντανό.
Σερβίρισμα
  1. Πάρτε μια πίτα, βάλτε το κοτόπουλο σουβλάκι και καλύψτε με το κρεμμύδι και το μαϊντανό.
  2. Σερβίρετε με τη σάλτσα Γιαουρτιού/Δυόσμου δίπλα.

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