On our recent trip to Canada, we ate lunch in a little town called Sidney, in British Columbia. While we did not have souvlaki, there were many, many restaurants with souvlaki in the name. Souvlaki must be the most popular dish in Sidney. Chicken souvlaki is essentially grilled chicken kebabs on a wooden skewer. It’s greek street food, usually eaten directly from the skewer or with a dollop of tzatziki sauce on a pita. If you’re sitting you might also get some tomatoes and raw onions to wrap in your pita. It also makes a great weeknight dinner or weekend lunch on the grill.
The secret to great souvlaki is in the marinade. The traditional marinade is simply lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and dried oregano, but I’ve decided to add my new favorite spice, hot smoked paprika to the mix. I’m also using a greek seasoning herb blend that is blended locally. You can order it here or you can use dried oregano in its place. Another secret to my marinade is the garlic. I smash it in my mortar and pestle (along with a little kosher salt) to make a paste. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, just chop it finely, sprinkle with kosher salt and rub along the cutting board with the side of the knife. The salt, along with being an abrasive, will help the garlic break down into a paste.
This is the recipe I use for making pitas. The recipe is for oven baked flatbreads. However, I cannot, in the heat of the summer, heat my oven to 500˚. It’s just too flippiin’ hot. I have taken to grilling them instead. For this souvlaki recipe, I would grill the flatbreads, then the souvlaki.
- Even though I soak my skewers overnight, they still burn and catch on fire (see photo). The only way around that is to use metal skewers, which I sometimes do. Whichever is your preference, do that.
- You can also use store-bought pitas.