Summer Kick-off: Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Wraps
For me, Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off for summer...a three day holiday to relax with little plans and have a few people over to get that BBQ fired back up into working order!
It definitely shouldn't be a weekend filled with stress running around like a crazy person trying to throw an epic summer bash (we have a few more warm months to work that piñata and mariachi band into our plans, trust me). So I typically like to put together an easy spread that allows people to eat what they want, when they want it...you know, that good old fashioned feeling of just hanging out and enjoying time together.
Souvlaki screams summer for me - and if we're going to welcome the season in, we're going to do it BIG...with flavor that is, not bouncy houses or balloons. This is the perfect meal to ease everyone into a vacation state of mind - grilled chicken wrapped up with pickled onions, roasted tomatoes, Tabbouleh and topped with tangy Tzatziki. OH MY! What sounds incredibly taxing to make, is actually a breeze - here are a few tips to get you focused on a relaxed (but delicious) party zone before Saturday.
Hands Free Hosting: Prep Ahead & Build Your Own - We throw parties so we can spend time with the people we love...not to be stuck behind the grill or in the kitchen while everyone lounges in the sun. Souvlaki is perfect to prep a day ahead - simply make all the condiments, pre-skewer your seasoned chicken and store in the fridge the night before. Right before guests arrive, fire up the grill and set up a colorful DIY wrap station that will allow you to mingle and not miss a moment!
It's All In The Details: Wrap It In Style - A masterpiece as beautiful as this deserves a proper crown. Try watercoloring bamboo picks and small paper sandwich bags for a bit of extra flair... just because you're breaking out the paper plates this weekend doesn't mean you have to shortcut on making things feel special. This quick hack takes less than 5 minutes and looks like you bought them from a fancy party store. Win!
Chicken Souvlaki Wraps
Makes 6 wraps
1 package of
1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
Dried Italian herbs for rub: oregano, rosemary thyme blend
Spring mix lettuce
Pickled red onions (1 red onion)
Roasted red tomato (2 heirloom tomatoes)
8 oz greek yogurt
2 TBS champagne vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 large english cucumber, finely grated (squeeze as much water out as possible before mixing in with yogurt)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 cut parsley finely chopped
1/2 cup mint finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
5 grape tomatoes finely chopped
1/2 cup cooked bulgur
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper for seasoning
Quick Pickled Red Onion & Roasted Tomato
Set a mandoline to the thinnest setting and finely slice 1 red onion and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and massage well. Let stand for 10-15 minutes and then drench with apple cider vinegar, let sit for at least 25-30 minutes occasionally mixing and drain additional liquid before serving. Can be made a day in advance if stored in the refrigerator.
For the tomatoes, pre-heat oven to 375. Cut tomatoes into eights and add to a baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper, a generous drizzle of olive oil and splash of red wine vinegar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until desired softness. Set aside and serve at room temperature - can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.
Pre-heat your BBQ to medium high. Cut Chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and skewer on metal or bamboo grilling sticks. Season chicken with dried Italian herbs and olive oil. Grill for 5-7 minutes a side, turning only once 0ver until cooked thoroughly.
Create a self-serve wrap station with all your condiments and grilled chicken. Assemble according to your preferred customization and place into paper bag for less mess!
Suggested pairing: A fresh
with zippy sumac dressing and pita chips!
Bright, colorful - incredibly fresh! So simple to make, yet incredibly complex in flavor...do you have your party hat on yet!? Do you have cute little picks painted!? Well get on it, because these Souvlaki wraps are the perfect way for us all to celebrate the arrival of summer this weekend....and several more warm weather weekends to come!
Now who's coming over!?
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