Monday, 13 February 2012

Chicken Souvlaki on Spinach Salad

Maria Portokalos: Ian, are you hungry? 
Ian Miller: Uh no, I already ate. 
Maria Portokalos: Okay, I make you something

-My Big Fat Greek Wedding

I could watch that movie a thousand times and still laugh my face off. That was my neighbourhood growing really! It was filmed in Toronto just up the street from where I lived and I can identify all those characters in real life. My first boyfriend was Greek (I am sure he still is!) His mother made some amazing meals with some even better desserts. I dream of her Kourambiethes, Baklava and my favourite Diples. Honey, almonds and fried things!!!my mouth is already watering.  My husband's family on one side is from Greece (they call him PEE-R-EH!) I love Greek food. I love the crazy open people who simply must feed you. Above all else you must never leave a Greek home hungry. I think of  my good  friend George who is a fantastic cook and all that I have learnt  from  eating some of the best meals in his kitchen,  It's amazing what  simple, clean  food and laughing until you cry can do for you!

Yia Sas! (to your health, CHEERS!)

Toula Portokalos: There are three things that every Greek woman must do in life: marry Greek boys, make Greek babies, and feed everyone.

This is the simplest thing to prepare, chicken on a stick with a nice salad.

You will need:

Chicken Souvlaki

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • fresh lemon
  • salt/pepper
  • dried oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • few leaves of fresh mint (like 2)
  • tzatziki  -(pronounced Tza-dzi-ki not Taz-iki.. you can say it!) 


  • Baby Spinach
  • tomatoes
  • black olives
  • Greek feta cheese (do not use the Canadian- its not the same)
  • English cucumber (does anyone buy the other any more!)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp good red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 crushed dried oregano

Step 1: Cut chicken into chunks add to a bowl with lemon juice, crushed garlic,salt/pepper, dried oregano, chopped parsley and chopped mint. Toss to coat and let marinate for 1 hour. I usually put in a Ziploc bag. Also at this point soak your skewers in water if they are wood to avoid burning on the grill.

Step 2: prepare salad. I like to chop all things and then add the heavy wet things to the bottom of the bowl and the leaves sit on top until just before serving (like the minute before) then I add the dressing and top with olives and feta so nothing gets soggy. So...go ahead and chop cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions or red onions if you prefer (Big Pete doesn't like onions so I have to hide them) and put in the bowl with the spinach leaves on the top.

Step 3: prepare the dressing for the salad. I just do this in a jar or container with a lid so I can shake it and serve. Add lemon juice (only fresh! never buy that stuff in a bottle) red wine vinegar, honey, salt/pepper and dried oregano. Shake to mix.

Step 4: Turn on the grill. Come on! Go outside and do it even if it's winter. If  you have to cook the chicken on grill machine or in a grill pan. After marinating for 1 hour divide the meat evenly on 4 skewers. This recipe is for 2 people or one hungry person. Grill chicken until cooked. I squeeze lemon over the meat as I cook it. You can never have too much lemon flavour!

Step 5: mix your dressing  with the salad only after the meat has come off the grill. Top with crumbled feta and olives.

Step 6: serve with some Tzatziki and some warmed Greek pita bread if you like.

Ian Miller: How do you say "thank you" in Greek?
[Nick tells him a Greek phrase: "Oréa viziá." Ian repeats it]
Ian Miller: [English translation] Nice boobs.

PS. I swear I wrote this whole post in a Greek accent.

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