Wow, it feels like its been a long time since we have posted a recipe! Two weeks! My day job has been super extra busy lately (like 12 hour days!), I’m building a website for Kevin’s company, we decided to sell our house (yikes!), and I’m finding some time to enjoy my summer a bit too. Sometimes you just can’t do everything, you know? But this week we are back and it feels good to get cooking and posting recipes again. And we have a whole bunch of good ones coming your way! Starting with this tasty little number….
I have been making this Greek Chicken and Veggie Skewer recipe for about 15 years! Now that I think of it, I still remember the first time. My three best girlfriends and I got together at Jenn’s house and cooked up these skewers. Back then we used a pouch of greek seasoning that we mixed with oil, but it was good enough to make again and again and again. Now we make it with real ingredients and it’s so much better and super flavorful. Its bright and citrucy with intense garlic flavor that makes the veggies and chicken taste incredible. Especially the parts that get a little charred on the grill!
If you have read the recipe already, I know what your thinking: canned potatoes? wtf! I said the same thing when my girlfriend Jenn brought them to a bbq where we were making these skewers. She said, trust me, they are awesome on the grill. And she was right! Ill never use canned potatoes for anything else, but always for these… They are cooked already so they just get nice and crispy on the outside, but stay soft on the inside. You just have to be careful when you thread them on the skewers though. They can break pretty easily.
Debbie looked at me like I had two heads the first time I told her we were going to use them, but she was converted. Try them! You will be too…
If you don’t want to use canned potatoes, try using baby ones and pre-boiling them first before you marinate them and thread them on the skewers.
I have been looking for a good recipe for Tzatziki for years that I like and finally found one that I love! Debbie and I got this greek cookbook last year called “Its All Greek To Me” by Debbie Matenopoulous. Every recipe I have ever made out of it is amazing and the Tzatziki is no exception. Its got tons of garlic, fresh dill, and it has that tangy little bite that I have been looking for in a homemade Tzatziki. I’ve included the recipe below so you don’t have to hunt for the book, but if you like greek food, its an awesome cookbook.
This post is packed with crazy good recipes actually! This rice recipe has been a long time in the making too. I love rice pilaf, but I have never been able to make a great one. Until now. This one tastes just like the rice pilaf that you get in the greek restaurants, only its much much healthier. Its full of vegetables too and has tons of flavor. Carrots, celery, onions… I like to finish it off with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil, but that’s totally optional. I just like the flavor and how it gives a nice sheen to the rice.
Alright. Now Im really hungry!
Greek Chicken & Vegetable Skewers with Easy Rice Pilaf
- DEBBIE MATENOPOULOS'S TZATZIKI SAUCE
- 1/2 seedless english cucumber , peeled
- 1 tsp sea salt or more to taste
- 2 cups plain greek yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic , peeled and mashed into a paste
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp minced fresh dillGREEK MARINADE
- 2 lemons , juiced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried oreganoCHICKEN SKEWERS
- bag of wooden or metal skewers
- 3 chicken breasts
- 2 - 3 red , orange, or yellow peppers
- 1 large onion
- 1 large can potatoes
- 10 - 12 mushroomsEASY RICE PILAF
- 2 cups brown basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 carrots , diced
- 1 onion , diced
- 3 celery stalks , diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- a little more olive oil if desired
- First make the Tzatziki.
- Grate the cucumber using a box grater or food processor and toss with 1/2 tsp of the salt. Place the cucumber in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and drain for 10 mins. Next, take a handful of the cucumber and squeeze as much water from the cucumber as possible and put the squeezed cucumber in a bowl. Do the same for the rest of the cucumber.
- Add the rest of the ingredients along with the remaining salt and mix it well.
- Let the Tzatziki sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors come together.
FOR THE MARINADE
- First cut up all your veggies and chicken into bite sized pieces. Do not cut the potatoes, just leave them whole. Put the veggies in one bag or container and the chicken in another.
- Throw all the marinade ingredients into a blender or food processor and wiz it up really well.
- Pour some of the marinade over the chicken and make sure its coated really well. Then pour the rest over the veggies and mix them around till they are all coated.
- Marinate the chicken and veggies for at LEAST one hour, but the longer the better. Even overnight.
FOR THE EASY RICE PILAF
- Turn your stove to high heat. Add the rice, water and salt to a pot and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 - 20 mins or until the rice is cooked and fluffy.
- While the rice is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrots and celery.
- When the rice is cooked, add it to the skillet and mix well. Season with the salt, onion and garlic powder and mix well.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the rice if desired. It makes it nice and shiny and delicious.
- TO MAKE THE SKEWERS
- If you are using wooden skewers make sure to soak them well.
- Heat your barbecue to medium-high heat.
- Take your marinated chicken and veggies and thread them onto the skewers. We always alternate between the chicken, pepper, onion, mushroom and potato and then go back to the chicken, but you can skewer your chicken and veggies how you like.
- Place the skewers on the barbecue and cook them for about 8 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. Turn the skewers every 3 mins or so.