Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chicken Souvlaki

Well, it's the last official weekend of summer, and as a tribute, we made one of our favorite summertime meals: Souvlaki
Little linguistic lesson: "The word souvlaki is a diminutive of σούβλα souvla 'skewer', itself borrowed from Latin subula." (Thanks Wikipedia! The more you know ~)

So for those of you who haven't figured it out - Souvlaki is Greek Shish-Kabob, and it is quite delicious. Served on a salad or a bed of rice, with some grilled or roasted vegetables, souvlaki tastes like the essence of summer. Souvlaki can be pork, beef, lamb, or chicken, and the below marinade goes well with whatever meat you choose. We chose chicken, but let your heart (and stomach) guide your way! :)

  • MEAT. (Well, if you're a vegetarian, I'm sure the marinade would go well on tofu or whatever it is you enjoy. I KNOW it goes well on vegetables.)
  • Olive oil (we use about 1/2 cup, but there is no precision in the marinade. Add or subtract ingredients as you see fit)
  • Lemon juice (use the juice of about 2-3 lemons. Use your best judgement, some lemons yield more juice than others. Try to get a 1:1 ratio of lemon juice to olive oil)
  • Minced garlic (How much garlic do you like? We like enough to ensure that no vampires ever come near us. About 4 cloves or so, minced or crushed up nicely!)
  • About 1 tablespoon (heaping) of oregano
  • About 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (I think? We use about 10-20 grinds of our pepper mill. Like pepper? Go crazy)

  1. Make the marinade as follows:
    1. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice before adding anything else. It helps to make the marinade a more even emulsion, as opposed to separating out.
    2. Add the garlic, oregano and pepper.
    3. Whisk until properly mixed
  2. Dice the meat into cubes.
  3. Marinade the meat (I bet you didn't see that step coming) **The longer you can marinade the meat, the better it will taste. It's more or less that simple. We let the chicken marinade for about 6 hours today**
  4. Preheat the grill on high (See, the grill is what makes it taste like summer)
  5. Skewer the meat *Note: if you are using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for about a half hour before grilling so they don't burn*
  6. Grill the skewers until they are at the level of doneness that you prefer
We served ours with vegetables that we chopped up and roasted in the oven (at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes), and some rice pilaf. Oh, and rolls. Because that is what we do in our house. Bread, bread, carbs, and bread.

You can also choose, if you'd like, to skewer the vegetables in the same marinade and grill them. Warning: I've learned that when you grill little tomatoes, the inside stays roughly the same temperature as the center of the sun for about 4 hours after they come off the grill. Reader, beware.

Anyways, enjoy your last weekend of summer, and if you want to remember what summer tastes like in the heart of winter... it's never too cold to grill.
Enjoy your little skewer of Greece! Opa!

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