Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Greek-Style Chicken Kebabs with Classic Tzatziki

Mediterranean cuisine is one of the most flavorful in the world, and Greek flavors in particular bring something special to the table.

The country’s signature condiment, tzatziki, highlights three simple ingredients: tangy Greek yogurt, crisp cucumber, and lots of garlic. Fresh dill or oregano and lemon juice or wine vinegar are common accompaniments. While many recipes add a host of other ingredients—including sour cream, olive oil, mint, and onions—I’m a fan of keeping this delicious cold, creamy sauce simple and traditional.

Tip: If you’re not starting with a seedless cucumber, it’s easy to seed one on your own. First, peel the cucumber, then halve it lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape down the middle, removing the seeds. Be sure to do this slowly and gently, or else you’ll have seeds flying about the kitchen!

Seeded Cucumber
Another tip: The easiest way to grate the cucumber is on the large holes of a box grater. This results in coarse shreds that you can then chop into small pieces. If you don’t have a box grater, simply chop the cucumber very finely. This gives a little chunkier texture to the tzatziki, but the taste is just as delicious.

Shred the Cucumber on a Box Grater
Shredded, Chopped Cucumber
The marinade for the chicken also highlights the flavors of Greece with more lemon juice and garlic, along with olive oil and fresh oregano. A splash of honey adds just a touch of sweetness, as well as a little texture to the marinade.

For more chicken skewers with a garlicky sauce, check out Grilled Chicken Skewers with Garlic Scape Dressing.

Serves 4


For the Tzatziki
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated seeded, peeled cucumber (chop larger shreds)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
For the Chicken
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Tzatziki
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients (through lemon juice) in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 4.
Tatziki Sauce
For the Chicken
  1. Combine the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, honey, and garlic in a heavy, sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken chunks, seal, and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Marinade for Chicken
  1. Light a grill for medium-high heat. When the coals are ready, heat a cast-iron griddle for 5 minutes. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron griddle inside on the stovetop for 5 minutes.)
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting excess drip off. Thread the pieces onto 4 skewers (if wood, soaked in water 30 minutes), 4-5 pieces per skewer. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the chicken kebabs until lightly charred and just cooked through, turning on all sides, about 12 minutes total. 
Chicken in Marinade 
Kebabs  Ready to Grill
Kebabs Beginning to Grill 
Grilled Kebabs
To serve, divide the tzatziki among individual dipping bowls and place alongside the kebabs, or pass the sauce at the table to let your guests spoon on top of the chicken.

Greek-Style Chicken Kebabs with Classic Tzatziki


  1. These Greek kabobs look yummy. pinning. found at what'd you do this weekend. Have a great week.

  2. Thanks for your comment (and pin!), Rachel---much appreciated.