7.9.13

Greek Baked Chicken with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce


I have been missing out on the deliciousness that is tzatziki sauce for the better part of my life. 

For many years when I saw it at restaurants I wrongly assumed it was some kind of creamy mayonnaise-based sauce.  Since I also hated mayonnaise for the better part of my life (although have now seen the light), I steered clear of it. 


It's only been in the last couple years that I learned tzatziki sauce is made of yogurt, lemon juice, and cucumber, and is, in fact, AMAZING. 

I'm going to be eating lots of it to make up for all those missed years. 


I made homemade tzatziki sauce for the first time a few weeks ago for my friend Steph. We had sweated our lives away at hot yoga, so we were starving when we got home. I threw the marinated chicken into the oven, and thirty minutes later we devoured it along with lots of cool tzatziki sauce, which we licked from our fingers.

This past weekend, when my sister and some friends came over for dinner, I knew it was time to whip up the Greek feast once again.

The tzatziki sauce is surprisingly easy to make. Peel and slice the cucumbers. Salt them well and let them hang out for a while to remove excess moisture.  Then just throw everything into the food processor and give it a whirl.


The Greek baked chicken is similarly simple.  Throw the chopped lemons and onions into a bag with the chicken, olive oil and spices and let them marinate for a few hours.  Transfer everything to a baking sheet and roast until the chicken is fragrant, lemon-infused, golden and crispy. 

When that fragrant chicken meets salty feta cheese, cool tzatziki sauce, and warm pita, it's magical, friends. 



***I recommend using chicken thighs as opposed to chicken breasts in this recipe, as the extra fat in the thighs gives it the extra flavor. This recipe also makes a large quantity and is easily halved.***


Greek Baked Chicken

Ingredients: 
8 chicken thighs
2 large red onions, cut into wedges
4 lemons, quartered
6 gloves garlic
2 tsp oregano
salt & pepepr
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Directions:

In a large marinating bag or plastic container, combine chicken, red onions, lemons, garlic, oregano, & 1/4 cup olive oil. Place in fridge and let marinate between 3 and 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 375.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Emtpy the marinating bag/container onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper.

Roast for 30-40 minutes or until chicken skin is golden brown & crispy.


Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
juice from 1 lemon
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 large cucumber
salt & pepper

Directions:

Peel cucumber and cut into fourths.

Using your knife or a spoon, remove all the seeds.

Cut cucumber into small pieces and place in a colander. Sprinkle liberally with salt and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Afterwards, use a paper towel or hand towel to remove excess moisture.

In a food processor, combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and prepared cucumber.  Blend until smooth.

***Serve with warm pita bread, plenty of crumbled feta cheese, and crisp romaine lettuce***

Greek chicken recipe adapted from Simply Delicious.

Tzatziki sauce adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen.

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