Hello, perfect summer weeknight meal.
Let me introduce you to my friends. I am super excited for you guys to meet. Because I love you, and I think they will too.
Yogurt-marinated chicken is seriously one of my favorite things. I first shared these chicken gyros with you all a few months ago, and while I haven’t talked about them since, I use the chicken marinade/technique ALL THE TIME. At least once every couple weeks. It is so versatile and so freaking delicious once charred on the grill. The flavors are out of this world (this has got to be the most overused phrase to describe food. Sigh), and I love how quickly I can throw the marinade together on a busy weeknight in anticipation of the next night’s meal. Once the chicken sits in the yogurt marinade overnight in the fridge, it grills up to be the most tender, juicy chicken EVER. Like, ever ever. There’s something about that yogurt. It’s magic.
You guys have got to try it.
If you’re not up for making gyros, or are trying to watch your carb intake during these summer months, try out these skewers instead. They’re quick and easy, so much fun, and totally cute. Cuteness being the most important factor, of course.
While good-lookin’ food never hurt anyone (Take it from a food blogger. Eating with your eyes is key!), the TASTE is always the most important thing. And these skewers will not disappoint in either category. They’re cute AND finger-lickin’ good (second most overused phrase to describe food?).
Grilled veggies are one of the best parts of summer, in my opinion. My favorite combo is bell peppers, red onion, zucchini, and summer squash. My dad has mastered the art of grilling veggies, and he does a huge batch at least once a week. They’re the perfect side to just about anything: steaks, chicken, burgers. You name it. They get tender and sweet and just a touch charred. Gah! So good. I could eat an entire plate of grilled veggies and call it dinner AND be happy about it. Yup. They’re THAT delish.
So, why not combine these two favs of mine? Greek yogurt chicken and grilled veggies! On a skewer! Because that’s just darn fun to eat.
And while we’re at it, why not serve them with tzatziki (aka: one of the best condiments to ever exist)? Tzatziki with a twist!
That’s right. I twisted up my tzatziki. I added in some briny, salty kalamata olives and basically had a freak out (complete with my signature overexcited arm flail) in the middle of my kitchen when I first tasted it. You guys. It’s…so good. Like, really incredibly good.
Yes, I know I’m lacking on the eloquence today (“so good” does not even begin to cover it), but you guys just have to deal. Because I can’t get over this tzatziki. And my passion for it is clouding my ability to write anything other than “OMG” and “DELISH!” and “MAKE THIS NOW.”
While I love plain, regular ol’ tzatziki just as much as the next person, adding the kalamata olives completely took it over the top for me. I was seriously swooning over this dip and had to resist eating it by the spoonful while I heated up the grill for the skewers. I think I love it so much because I can’t get enough of anything pickly/briny/vinegary, and adding olives to the creamy, refreshing tzatziki just…well, it did me in.
And that was BEFORE I even tasted the skewers themselves!
Put the two together?! I’m double done for. Charred, tender, juicy chicken. Sweet, bursting cherry tomatoes. Tender, slightly caramelized veggies. AND KALAMATA OLIVE TZATZIKI.
Yup. Completely done for.
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
Splash of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 large seedless cucumber, peeled
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I prefer 2% or whole milk yogurt for this)
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
½ cup pitted and finely chopped kalamata olives (optional – the tzatziki is still awesome without the addition of olives)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large red onion, cut into chunks
2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
2 zucchini, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Additional chopped dill, for serving
Place the chicken thighs in a large resealable plastic bag. Mix the marinade ingredients well in a small bowl and then pour over the chicken. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and massage the mixture over the meat until everything is evenly coated.
Place the bag on a plate or in a baking dish and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Grate the peeled cucumber on a box grater. Place the grated flesh in a fine-mesh strainer lined with paper towels. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the cucumber and then place it in a bowl.
To the bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 20-30 minutes before serving. The tzatziki can be made a few days ahead (which makes it taste even better) and will last in the fridge for about a week.
Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before assembly. Preheat the grill to high.
Skewer the chicken, red onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, alternating meat and veggies.
Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown grill marks develop and the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with a little chopped dill and serve alongside the tzatziki.