Mediterranean grilled chicken with homemade tzatziki sauce. A Greek-inspired grilled chicken dinner that comes together quickly and will fill your taste buds with flavor.
My friend Becky is a tremendous cook. She makes the best Greek food on the planet, as well she should, as her family of origin is Greek. Her Spanakopita is to die for. Her Greek Salad? A bowl of fresh and crunchy goodness. Our families used to have dinner together quite a bit–you know, before we moved 500 miles away from everyone we knew. My favorite meals were in their backyard, celebrating a family birthday. Good company, good music, and great food. Becky likes everyone to enjoy themselves.
You can always count on the aforementioned spinach pie and Greek salad at these gatherings, but when her extended family gets together, there is also a fabulous grilled chicken, and Tzatziki sauce.
Tzatziki sauce is a yogurt sauce with fresh dill, cucumber, and lots of garlic. Now Becky is a little-of-this, little-of-that-type of cook, so I have never been successful in gleaning a recipe from her. I have tried to recreate the chickenliciousness that comes off her grill–I think I’m close. By the way, this is a great meal to throw together last minute. Quick and easy, just like a summer meal should be.
One of these days, I’ll actually get all of the ingredients in a photo. Maybe. I forgot an onion,olive oil, and the flat bread. (You don’t have to make wraps, but I prefer it that way.)
For Mediterranean Grilled Chicken:
2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½-2 pounds)
In a gallon sized zipper bag, add the olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Then give the dill and garlic a rough chop. This is strictly a marinade, so we’re not going for looks, we’re just going for an infusion of flavor.
I just love infusions of flavor, don’t you?
Squeeze the lemon juice into the bag, and add the chopped dill and garlic. Give the bag a squish to mix it all together. Squish. That word always makes my 7 year old giggle.
Place the chicken breasts into the bag, and seal the top. Shake the chicken around a bit so that it gets wrapped in the loveliness of the marinade.
See that? The chicken is definitely feeling the love. Now pop it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Or 30 minutes, if that’s all the time you can spare.
Although this chicken is great on its own, there is one thing you should to know–it’s all about the sauce. The sauce just takes the chicken yumminess factor and knocks it out of the park. And it’s super easy to assemble. Love that.
For Homemade Tzatziki Sauce:
1 ½ C. plain low fat yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ C. cucumber, diced
2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
I’m not calling this a Tzatziki sauce because I’m not Greek, and I have no idea what goes into the Tzatziki I am accustomed to. Let’s call it Tzatziki-inspired, or simply dill-cucumber sauce. Or call it Tzatziki. Call it whatever you want, just don’t skip the sauce!
Put the plain yogurt in a bowl, along with some chopped cucumber, and more chopped garlic and dill. Are you seeing a pattern? Dill. Garlic. Oh, and let’s not forget my pattern of omitting ingredients from the photos. This time, it was a lemon, and salt & pepper. Pretend they are in the photo, and go ahead and add them to the yogurt. Thank you for your support. (Name that commercial.)
Cover the bowl of dill-cucumber sauce with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it. (The sauce also makes an excellent dip for veggies and pita chips.)
When you are ready, grill the chicken over medium-high heat, until cooked through. The ones I used were on the thicker side, so I cooked them for about 10-12 minutes per side over a direct flame. Cut into a thicker part of one of the breasts if you are nervous about it. The inside shouldn’t show any pink at all.
Remove the Mediterranean grilled chicken to a cutting board, and let it rest for 5 minutes. I let all meat rest for 5 minutes after grilling–it is just good policy. After resting, thinly slice the chicken against the grain.
I like to serve the sliced chicken on flat bread, with sliced tomatoes and onions. Oh! And don’t forget a healthy spoonful of the dill- cucumber sauce. You can serve it in pita bread or tortillas, too.
Or skip the wrap all together and save yourself all that slicing–serve the Mediterranean grilled chicken whole, with the sauce over top.
I don’t think Becky would mind, so long as you are enjoying yourself.
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce