You guys, what a roller coaster ride this was. Highs, lows, celebration, despair, fear, elation! I made this souvlaki chicken recipe last week and was mentally berating myself because I'd meant to write it up days ago...but it turns out the extra few days made all the difference. What a ride!
First, some caveats: 1) I'm not Greek, nor am I a Greek food expert (thought I like it) so I'm maybe not the most qualified to say how authentic this is. 2) I realized after the fact that the title of this recipe is actually "The juiciest baked chicken breast with souvlaki marinade" which seems a few degrees removed from actual "chicken souvlaki." And I honestly don't know how you formally define chicken souvlaki, so there's that.
The recipe is relatively simple, and calls for:
The instructions basically say marinate for at least an hour, then bake at 450 for 25 minutes. I also "tenderized" my chicken breasts, trying to get them about the same size for a better bake.
I was really excited about this recipe. I love Greek flavors and was anticipating eating this over salad, or maybe throwing together some yogurt sauce the following day. And I was thrilled that maybe I could replicate some of my favorite foods at home with relative ease. But I'm sorry to say, this was not awesome when it came out of the oven.
Some of it was the texture. This was sold to me as the "juiciest baked chicken." I'd definitely had juicier. Perhaps I could have pounded the chicken a bit more, or marinated longer, or perhaps my eye-balled oil measurement was off, or maybe the mint really does make all the difference. But my response was mostly "meh." Not that it was bad, but it was not knocking my socks off. Womp womp.
BUT THEN! The NEXT DAY! I sliced some of the leftover, cold chicken breast for a salad. I had also mixed up some simple tahini dressing (equal parts tahini, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper) and... the thrill was back! WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!
It was really tasty, if not exactly what I expected souvlaki to be, and somehow the rubbery texture from the previous night had disappeared. It was a chicken miracle.
Taste: Herb-y and light. Not at all overwhelming, and I bet it would be awesome with some feta.
Nutrition: Chicken breasts are sort of the universal lean protein, and on average, a 4 oz. chicken breast (naked) has about 190 calories. There is some added oil here, but that's the only source of added calories along with the good olive oil fats. It's not like every ounce of oil used in the marinade ends up in the chicken, either. So for this dish, it's really all about what you eat with it. I paired mine with a spinach salad and a drizzle of homemade tahini dressing. Traditionally, you could eat this with pita or rice, and you'd be getting good carb-y energy, but as I didn't really need the extra energy, I opted for salad. I would love to try this with some roasted veggies!
Life: So here's the bottom line: pretty good, seems to be better cold, and I'd try it again, especially if I have mint. It was a really simple recipe of basically two steps: mix a few things together to marinate, then bake. If you're a fan of Mediterranean foods, I'd say try it. My efforts yielded 5-6 meals, and the fact that it worked cold makes for easy lunch prep. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. And speaking of pets, here's a bonus hungry pup photo during chicken prep.
Trying foods, trying moves and trying to be more awesome.