Chicken Souvlaki with Lemon Rice Pilaf
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thigh meat cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup yogurt
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch oregano
1/4 each medium onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp smoky paprika
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper
1 each cucumber
halved lengthwise, peeled, seeded, and grated
2 cups greek yogurt
1 each red bell pepper
roasted and skinned (or substitute with 2 roasted piquillo peppers)
1 clove garlic
1/2 bunch dill
1/2 bunch mint
salt and pepper
5 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 1/4 each onions
small diced
2 cloves garlic
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 1/4 cups long grain rice
1/3 cup orzo pasta
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 bunch parsley
lemon zest from 2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
lemon wedges
thinly sliced red onion
grilled tomatoes
For the Chicken
Put all marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend together. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper, add in marinade and mix for a minute or two to massage the marinade into the meat. Let sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
While it marinates, make rice and tzatziki!
Light the grill or heat the broiler. Put the chicken in skewers. Grill over high heat or broil, turning once until done, about 5-6 minutes total. Season with additional salt, pepper and herbs to taste.
For the Tzatziki
In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the cucumber with 1 teaspoon of the salt; let sit for about 15 minutes. Squeeze the cucumber to remove the liquid.
Combine the Greek yogurt with roasted pepper and blend. Pour into bowl and add cucumber, garlic and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
For the Rice
In a heavy sauce pan, sauté onion in butter until tender. Add orzo and cook for about 4-5 minutes, toasting it until it turns golden brown. Add rice and stir for 2 mins. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 mins or until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Fluff pilaf up with fork and stir in chopped parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest.
To Serve
Place pilaf and chicken and serve the sauce on the side or spooned on top of the chicken. Garnish with grilled tomatoes, lemon wedges, red onion, and/or olives.