Make chicken souvlaki the way they do in Greece with this recipe for grilled Greek chicken souvlaki made with a simple souvlaki marinade of olive oil, garlic, oregano and lemon juice.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that I grew up spending my summers in Greece. And while there are so many wonderful things I can say about the beaches, and the pastel-hued houses that colour the landscape, and the crystal clear blue sea, what I really want to talk about today is the food.
The first recipes I ever developed when I worked at Chatelaine was an entire appetizer platter of Greek recipes–mediterranean cuisine is a cooking style that is right within my comfort zone.
What I love about Greek cuisine is that for the most part, it’s incredibly simple and flavourful. It basically encompasses my entire philosophy around food; simple, fresh and flavourful.
In Greece, we’d spend the summers on the island of Kefalonia, where the local family-run takeout restaurant would deliver souvlaki via motorbike–you could always hear them coming from a mile away. This Greek-style chicken souvlaki is inspired by this tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It took me a while to perfect this recipe, but I’ve finally figured out how to make an authentic Greek souvlaki.
How to make a chicken souvlaki marinade?
A combination of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, oregano and garlic powder are what flavour souvlaki. You can marinate the chicken for 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you marinate the chicken for any longer the acid from the lemon juice will start to “cook” the chicken and it will be tough and dry instead of juicy and tender.
Should you use fresh garlic or garlic powder in Greek souvlaki?
You can definitely use fresh garlic, but I opt to use garlic powder because this recipe is for grilled souvlaki, and when grilling fresh garlic tends to burn which would give this dish a bitter taste. It’s the same reason I use garlic powder in my grilled Greek chicken wings.
- 4 chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- In a glass bowl, whisk olive oil with lemon juice, oregano, salt and garlic powder. Add chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat and soak wooden skewers for 20 minutes. Thread chicken onto skewers.
- Grill, covered, for 4-5 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges and tzatziki sauce.
Let me know if you give this chicken souvlaki recipe a try in the comments below.