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Picture this: the sun is shining, the kids and/or puppies are running around in the backyard, and you and your friends are grilling up garlicky, lemony, tangy chicken skewers. Everyone gathers around the picnic table and piles their plates high with veggies, fruit, rice, and chicken with dill tzatziki sauce. Maybe there’s a decadent chocolate cake for dessert. It’s your backyard barbeque fantasy – go crazy!
I’ve missed this type of get-together so much during The Covid Times. Thinking up backyard barbeque menus got me through the dark, cold winter. It was so painful when, around this time last year, we collectively realized that we may not see family or friends for perhaps a very long time.
The backyard party is so simple, it was so easy to take it for granted, but it’s one of the things I’ve missed the very most.
Miraculously, and thanks to many people’s dedication, we now have multiple vaccine options, and hope is growing. My family is going to the beach soon. Mark and I are fully vaccinated. The weather in Utah is still kinda chilly, but when it warms up, it’s time for the return of the backyard barbeque. These bites of chicken-y goodness would be perfect for that first get-together.
These chicken skewers are based on a recipe for pork souvlaki that I learned from Park City Culinary Institute. The flavors of lemon, red wine vinegar, red onion, and marjoram make for a bright, summery dinner, perfect for a warm day. Here’s how you make them!
- Cut 4 (2 pounds) of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 2 inch by 2 inch chunks.
- Put a gallon sized Ziplock bag inside a mixing bowl so it stands up.
- Add all of the marinade ingredients into the bowl.’
- Put the chicken into the bag, seal, and let sit in the fridge for 2 hours. I would not go much longer than this, because the acid in the marinade can start to toughen the chicken if left too long.
Make the sauce:
- Combine all the ingredients for the Dill Tzatziki Sauce in a small serving bowl.
- If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn up on the grill. Longer is better. Metal skewers are probably better, but I do not own any, so I haven’t tried.
- Just before you’re ready to preheat the grill, spear 4-5 pieces of chicken onto each skewer. 2 pounds of chicken makes about 12 skewers.
- Salt and pepper the skewers just before grilling.
Grill ‘em up:
- preheat the grill on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Wipe the grill grates with vegetable oil on a paper towel.
- Grill the skewers for 5-10 minutes, flipping once with tongs. They’re done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Don’t follow the temperature method in my roast chicken post for this one, because the pieces of chicken are so small, they won’t carryover cook very much at all.
- Serve up your skewers with the sauce, and any side you’d like. Enjoy the summery goodness. Kids will probably eat 1 or 2 skewers, and adults 2-3.
As a note, if you need a new knife, I’ll link the chef’s knife that I use here and below the recipe. It’s the America’s Test Kitchen winner for chef’s knives and costs less than $50, which is a steal for a good knife.
Please let me know if you make these Mediterranean Chicken Skewers with Dill Tzatziki Sauce! Tag me @athometestcook, and share with your friends!
Mediterranean Chicken Skewers With Dill Tzatziki Sauce
For the Marinade
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (thigh would probably be delicious too), diced into 2×2 inch pieces.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 red onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced or grated on a microplane
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram 1 tablespoon fresh. You can use oregano if you don’t have marjoram. Maybe add a little less though, oregano is strong.
For the Dill Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1/2 English hothouse cucumber, finely diced or grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated on a microplane
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill 1/4 teaspoon dry. Start small with the dill. Taste and then decide if you want more.
- Salt and pepper to taste
To Make the Chicken Skewers:
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a gallon Ziplock bag, set inside a medium mixing bowl.
- Add chicken pieces, seal the bag, pushing the air out, and squish the chicken all around in the marinade, and let marinade for 2 hours in the fridge.
- When you put the chicken in the fridge, start soaking your bamboo skewers in water. Metal skewers do not need to be soaked.
- When ready to assemble, spear 4-5 pieces of chicken on each skewer, leaving a little, tiny bit of space between each piece.
- Preheat grill on medium heat.
- Oil the grill grates, and grill the skewers for 5-10 minutes, depending on your grill, flipping once.
- The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
To Make the Sauce:
- Combine all ingredients in a small serving bowl, and store in the fridge until ready to serve.