GREEK CHICKEN KABOBS

by Sep 21, 2020

Chicken in Pita Bread with Greek Style Tomato Sauce

Our family used to head down to Greek Town in Detroit regularly for fun and good food. Our favorite restaurant during these downtown sojourns was The Pegasus.  Of course, we always started dinner with Saganaki and loved shouting, “Opa” along with the waiter when he set the classic cheese dish aflame.  My husband loved the chicken kabobs in pita bread and rarely deviated from ordering this succulent sandwich.  Then we always walked across the street to the Astoria Bakery for dessert. Baklava, rice pudding and European pastries lined the bakery shelves with dazzling little bites of heaven.

As is prone to happen, though, the kids grew up and life got busier and busier, and our trips to Greek Town became fewer and fewer. So, I had to figure out a way to replicate that chicken sandwich at home. Since Allen always said, “I think it’s the tomato sauce that really makes it wonderful,” I needed to reproduce a good imitation of the sauce as well as juicy chunks of chicken.  As we remembered it, the sauce was ultra-smooth and almost buttery tasting.  The kabob recipe emulates chicken souvlaki, with a marinade that incorporates the classic Greek combination of olive oil, lemon, and oregano. 

Traditionally, souvlaki is served with Tzatziki Sauce made from yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic.  I have a link to a recipe for Tzatziki Sauce but Allen’s tomato sauce is worth trying. Although this rendition may not be traditional, it provided many happy dining experiences in the Kornow household for Greek Night Dinners.

Combine the olive oil, lemon, oregano, and garlic. I love fresh garlic but sometimes use granulated garlic when I want a smooth sauce. I prefer to buy granulated garlic instead of garlic powder because it does not clump up as easily.   Cut the chicken breasts into chunks. Coat the chicken pieces by tossing them in this marinade prior to threading to make sure the flavoring covers each piece.   My husband like big, two-bite sized chunks, because they seemed juicier.  Smaller chunks are easier for children to eat and will cook more quickly. Whatever size you choose, just try to make them all a similar size so they cook evenly when skewered.  Refrigerate the chicken pieces in the marinade for about 1/2 hour while making the sauce.  The chicken can be marinated for up to 4 hours.   

Make the tomato sauce; just melt the butter, stir in the sauce and seasonings.  Simple! This sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated in a covered container until needed. Just reheat on the stove top or in the microwave when cooking the chicken kabobs.

Thinly slice an onion and set aside, covered.

If you are using wooden skewers, start soaking them half an hour before cooking so they don’t burn up and break apart.  If broiling, rather than grilling, cover the broiler pan with foil, and pierce the foil to allow drainage. Spray with cooking oil spray. I think these are best when seared on a grill, but they still work under the broiler.  They just don’t get as charred.

Thread the soaked skewers with the chicken pieces. Do not push them together too closely.  Grill or broil until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes, depending on size of cubed chicken. Meanwhile, wrap the pita bread in in moistened paper towels, and microwave on half power for 1-2 minutes or until softened and pliable. 

CHICKEN KABOBS IN PITA BREAD

  • Kabobs:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 large chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized chunks (2-2 1/2 pounds)
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion, or onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic, or garlic powder -or two crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • 16 Ounces tomato sauce
  • Sliced Onions
  • 4-6 pita bread rounds

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