Thursday, June 11

Under The Pergola, chicken souvlaki served on a garden-fresh Greek salad to friend for a Saturday lunch

Under The Pergola, 
summer entertaining made easy
with a delicious yogurt-marinated 
Chicken Souvlaki 
With hot summer days upon us, 
I like to pull out my easy summer recipes for family dinners.  These Under The Pergola posts offer entertaining and tabletop tips to accompany the recipes, so all your entertaining needs are covered.  Follow our hashtag #UnderThePergola on Instagram and Twitter all summer as well.  So much of our time is spent busy this season, so now more than ever I like to keep it easy.  Soaking boneless chicken breast in yogurt (the night before) adds a coolness to the dish, while keeping the meat moist for grilling.  Grilling gives it just that right amount of char for flavor, and an added bonus is no messy kitchen or a need to clean pots and pans.  This week due to rain, we pan seared the chicken instead of grilling and it came out moist from pan searing.  I like to serve the chicken on top of a dressed Greek Salad with warmed pita on the side.  For the salad dressing, I keep it light.  Sometimes I serve it with a side of rice pilaf, but today we served it alone with fresh watermelon and cookies to friends who stopped over on a rainy Saturday afternoon for lunch.  The taste of fresh mint and basil with the dried oregano is a wonderful combination, and it all tastes like Summer!

Ingredients for souvlaki:
2 lbs. cubed chicken breast 
4-6 fresh made pitas warmed.
yogurt marinade (recipe below)
Greek salad (recipe below).
fresh oregano is a treat, and it is wonderfully fragrant but if you can't find it, I like dried oregano because this particular dried herb packs lots of flavor.  I do like to use fresh mint and basil and there really isn't a viable dried option for these. 
(Combine ingredients to make the marinade, saving a small bowl of it on the side for dipping the chicken)
Marinate the chicken in the rest of the yogurt herb chicken for 6 hours or overnight.  Heat a grill on medium high, cook the chicken thoroughly on all sides turning frequently.  Make and dress the salad on a large shallow plate put chicken on top.  Serve the platter, pita on the side with the bowl of dipping sauce and wedges of lemons.
Chicken Marinade:
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 TB dried oregano
1/2 TB dried basil
1/2 TB dried mint
1/2 TB kosher salt
1/2 TB black pepper
cap of red wine vinegar

you can find lots of feta cheese but I particularly 
like the salty and tasty Greek Feta.
1/4 C chopped Romaine
1/4 C chopped arugula
1/4 C chopped radicchio
4-5 sliced thin basil leaves
4-5 sliced thin mint leaves
1/2 sliced thin red onion
1/4 cup mixed black and green olives (pitted)
crumbled large chunks of French or Greek Feta
1/2 Cup diced cucumber 
6 small ripe garden fresh grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
1/4 C red wine vinegar
a little over 1/4 C good olive oil 
1/2 TB dried oregano
sprinkle of red pepper flake
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
toss the lettuce and onions only in a large bowl - add light coating of dressing then plate the lettuce on a long oval platter and sprinkle the olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes on top. Place the grilled chicken on top of it all, and serve with warmed pita bread on the side, 
and guests can help themselves.
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara