Although 35 minutes may sound like a lot of time to slap together a sandwich, this one is worth it, with the contrasts in textures and flavors of an authentic souvlaki but with fewer steps. Cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces enables a minimum of marinating and cooking time. Garnish with thinly sliced red onion, crisp lettuce or diced tomato.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano (may substitute 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 medium cucumber (about 8 inches) peeled or unpeeled, halved and seeded
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (do not substitute nonfat or low-fat yogurt)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or to taste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley
- 4 flatbreads, such as pita bread, flour tortillas or lavaash
Have ready metal skewers, or bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes.
Place the chicken pieces in a shallow dish. Set aside.
In a measuring glass, whisk together the oil, oregano, salt, pepper and all but a few drops of the lemon juice. Pour the mixture over the chicken and set aside, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 and up to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, grate or chop the cucumber. Wrap it in paper towels and squeeze it dry. Combine in a bowl with the yogurt, garlic, mint or parsley, and salt to taste. Taste; adjust the seasoning as needed and, if desired, add a couple of drops of the reserved lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate.
Wrap the breads individually in foil; set aside. Preheat the grill or broiler.
Slide the chicken onto the skewers, discarding the marinade. Transfer the chicken and the foil-wrapped breads to the grill or broiler and cook, turning as necessary, until the chicken is cooked through and the bread is warm, 8 to 10 minutes.
Place the skewers on a platter and pass the breads and the sauce on the side. To assemble, unwrap a piece of bread, leaving the foil around the exterior. Hold the exposed bread against a skewer and then slide out the skewer, leaving the chicken nestled in the bread. Spoon the cucumber-yogurt sauce on top.
Adapted from "Simply Good Food" by Clare Ferguson (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2002).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
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