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  • Greek Inspired Chicken Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

    Monday, August 15, 2011

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    I have received a lot of requests for recipes that are simple to prepare….while still being healthy. I admit, I like to use a lot of ingredients and I like to spend time cooking since I find it very relaxing and sometimes even therapeutic. Of course I don’t always have the time to linger over conceptualizing and preparing a meal, so I do have an arsenal of simple and delicious recipes that I hope you will add to your personal healthy cooking repertoire. The most time consuming part of this recipe is the preparation of the veggies and chicken, so you can make this recipe even easier by marinading the chicken and cutting the vegetables the night before you plan to cook and serve them. You should also prepare the tzatziki the day before to allow the flavors to come together. Plan to make extra kebabs…they make a perfect salad topping for lunch or dinner the next day.

    Chicken kebabs are always a healthy option for hot summer days, and they are super versatile. While I chose to take a trip to Greece for these, you could easily change up the spices and veggies to give them many international interpretations. I chose Greek as a homage to one of my best friends growing up, who was Greek and whose dad owned a small take out food business when I was in high school  Let me tell you…there were few things I looked forward to more in life than his dad’s Greek cookies and treats at Easter (a very dangerous friend to have as the chubby girl I was!).  This recipe is a dedication to my friend and his dad and the wonderful memories I have of them.

    Just a couple of quick tips before you begin:
    –  Prepare the tzatziki before you get started on any other part of the dish to allow time for the flavors to come together
    –  If you are using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 1/2 hour prior to preparing the kebabs, this ensures that the wood won’t catch fire on the grill
    –  If you are working with a covered grill, be sure the cover is closed to help retain the cooking temperature

    © 2011 Nancy Granada Kindred Kitchen

    Greek Inspired Chicken Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

    servings: 4 (2 kebabs each) | time: about 40 minutes plus at least 30 minutes for marinading chicken

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    ingredients:

    For the tzatziki sauce:
    1 small seedless cucumber (or a regular cucumber with seeds removed. (tip: use a spoon to remove seeds)
    1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
    2 tsp. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried)
    3 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
    Juice of 1/2 a lemon
    1/4 tsp. kosher salt
    2 cloves garlic, grated (or 3/4 tsp. garlic powder)

     

    For the chicken kebabs:
    1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, preferable free range organic
    1 12-ounce package of baby portobello or white button mushrooms
    1 package grape or cherry tomatoes, preferably organic
    1 large green pepper, preferably organic
    1 large red, orange OR yellow pepper, preferably organic
    1 large red onion
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup dry white wine (such as chardonnay)
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1/4 cup water
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    2 TBSP. chopped fresh oregano, (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
    2 TBSP. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    1 TBSP. fresh thyme leaves

    directions:

    For the Sauce:
    Place all ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight

     

    For the Kebabs:
    1. Cut chicken and veggies into 2-inch pieces, making sure the size of the chicken pieces are consistent so that the meat cooks evenly (you may need to half the mushrooms). Set aside while you make the marinade

    2. Place all of the remaining ingredients in a large covered dish or pan. Whisk to combine

    3. Add the chicken, toss to coat, cover and place in the refrigerator to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Shake the container frequently for even coating of the marinade

     

    Prepare the kebabs for grilling:
    1. Thread the chicken cubes and veggies onto skewers, making sure to leave space between each piece to allow for even cooking

    2.  Place prepared skewers on a large serving dish and pour marinade over top

    3.  Place the kabobs on a prepared grill (medium, indirect heat).  Cook for 5 minutes

    4.  Turn the chicken kabobs and cook for 8 more minutes

    5.  Turn the kebabs and check the chicken for doneness (no longer pink in center).  If they are done, remove from grill and stack them onto a serving platter.

    To Serve:  Place 2 kebabs on a plate.  Spoon tzatziki sauce over top, or serve on the side for dipping.

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