The skewer has two functions: a turning tool on the grill, and an eating utensil at the table. I chose 6″ sticks because longer kabob skewers seemed too big for diners to eat from. This size is perfect — similar to the length of the chicken breast strips. Utilitarian grilling and dining can be an ideal way to entertain, because it’s easy for you and casual for your guests.
Parsley, orange, and garlic spell bring it. This is a bright marinade — the fresh citrus tones overlap perfectly with the zippy, creamy tzatziki. I’d usually go down the classic lemon road, but I thought a twist of sweetness from orange, mellowed with parsley, might be a nice change. It worked, and on the grill there was magic — a caramelized sear appeared.
Parsley-Orange Chicken Sticks with Tzatziki Dipping Sauce
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, each cut into 4 lengthwise strips
- 8 six-inch wood skewers
- 1 large seedless orange, zest and juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt
- ground pepper
- 8 ounces prepared tzatziki sauce
- minced parsley
- orange wedges
- 2 loaves of pita bread, quartered
- In a blender, combine orange juice and zest, olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and blend until liquefied.
- Transfer marinade into a clean plastic bag or mixing bowl. Add 8 chicken strips to the bag or bowl and coat each piece well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
- Meanwhile, soak skewers in a shallow dish of water.
- Preheat grill to 400°F (205°C).
- Remove the chicken from fridge. Pat skewers dry. Thread marinated chicken pieces onto skewers and set on a clean plate.
- Lay each skewer onto the flat grill surface, tilted at an 11 o’clock angle. Slowly lower the lid and grill for 3 minutes or until light brown marks appear on the chicken.
- Lift the lid, move skewers to the 1 o’clock angle, and lower lid. Grill for another 3 minutes.
- Lift the lid and carefully remove the skewers from the grill. Arrange on a clean platter around a small bowl of tzatziki sauce, garnished with thin wedges of orange and/or baby-cut carrots, and pita bread. Serve immediately.
Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce made of plain yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, dill, lemon juice, and parsley. It’s a condiment typically served with gyros and souvlaki. Most major grocery stores sell prepared tzatziki in the hummus section.
Soaking wood skewers prevents them from burning under the broiler, on the grill, or in the oven.
Marinades are contaminated once they make contact with raw meat. Never re-purpose used marinades. Instead, take out an unused portion before the marinating process and reserve and refrigerate in a separate, clean container.
Baby-cut carrots are whittled down from regular-sized carrots that would otherwise not sell.
Double the recipe and turn it into dinner for four. Serve it over rice or couscous; dollop with tzatziki.