Tonight’s dinner has been my favorite so far, and actually the second time I’ve made it this summer but the first time I’ve made it since Memorial Day when we started this. I grew up in Greek restaurant kitchens, so this meal was a staple growing up and thankfully when my husband started coming to my parent’s house for dinner when we were teenagers, he fell in love with it too. Chicken souvlaki is in regular rotation on our dinner menu always served with my tzatziki, occasionally in a bun or a pita, usually served on skewers with a rice pilaf and corn – which is exactly how I served it tonight! Find my tzatziki recipe over on day 5.
The secret to good souvlaki (if it’s even a secret) is to get it marinating in the morning. Full disclosure I’m often doing this still in my PJs at 7am so it’s sitting for as long as possible. I use a large pastitsio pan (I’d imagine if you’re not Greek you call it a lasagna pan) for this. I’m honestly not sure how much olive oil I use, but I fill the dish about 1″ deep. In true Greek fashion, I’m not 100% sure how much of anything I use. I can tell you I always use oregano, basil and rosemary. I can also tell you I sprinkle pretty much equal amounts over the surface of the oil until it’s pretty much covered. Then I whisk it up. I cube the chicken and slide it onto the skewers (usually ten pieces per skewer), and then roll it in the seasoned oil until it’s totally covered. From here you just cover the dish and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.
Turning skewers on the grill can be tricky because they’re hard to get a hold of the skewers with an oven mitt but it’s also awkward to pinch and turn them with tongs. Once you develop a technique the challenge becomes about moving them around the heat evenly. Obviously, they’re going to brown faster over the flame, but they need to be cooked all the way through and no raw inside and charred on the outside. You’ll need to move them around pretty frequently and close the lid to use the grill as an oven for a while to be sure they’ll thoroughly cooked.
Tzatziki can be made the night before and pilaf can be happening with minimal supervision while you’re grilling. You can always just use a rice steamer to make rice while you’re outside if you don’t want to make a pilaf. This pairs well with corn, so you can either do corn on the cob on the grill or boil it inside. The nice thing about corn on the cob is if you boil it inside a little earlier, you can pop it in a very low oven while you’re grilling and it’ll stay warm without getting gross. Then just put everything out on the table when you’re ready to serve