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Grilled Chicken SouvlakiI made the following Madeira sauce to go with a Roast Fillet of Beef for my opera buddy's birthday. Thankfully he bought the fillet as it was a whopping $31.00 per pound. 3 1/2 pounds created a huge amount of stress for me to roast it perfectly. It did come out pork tender. I figured the pork tenderloin would be more accessible for most of us. The fillet of beef is cooked differently, so if you want that recipe, just ask in the comments.
From Cook's Illustrated
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:
Chicken souvlaki is almost always made with chunks of boneless skinless breasts, which have a marked tendency to dry out when grilled. To prevent this, we swap the traditional overnight soak in an acidic marinade for a quick 30-minute brine while the grill heats. We then toss the chunks of chicken in a flavorful mixture of lemon, olive oil, herbs, and honey right before grilling. To prevent the end pieces from overcooking, we protect the chicken by threading pepper and onion pieces on the ends. Once cooked, the chicken is tossed with reserved sauce to ensure that the exterior is brightly flavored and just as tender and moist as the interior.
This tzatziki is fairly mild; if you like a more assertive flavor, double the garlic. A rasp-style grater makes quick work of turning the garlic into a paste. We like the chicken as a wrap, but you may skip the pita and serve the chicken, vegetables, and tzatziki with rice. You will need four 12-inch metal skewers. For tips on wrapping the sandwich in foil, see related content.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced to paste
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced fine (1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
3/8 teaspoon salt
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup juice (2 lemons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 green bell pepper, quartered, stemmed, seeded, each quarter cut into 4 chunks
1 small red onion, ends trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise, each half cut into 4 chunks
4 (8-inch) pita bread
1. FOR THE TZATZIKI SAUCE: Whisk lemon juice and garlic together in small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in yogurt, cucumber, mint, parsley, and salt. Cover and set aside.
2. FOR THE CHICKEN: Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 1 quart cold water. Submerge chicken in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. While chicken is brining, combine oil, parsley, lemon zest and juice, honey, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup oil mixture to large bowl and set aside to toss with cooked chicken.
3. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Toss chicken with remaining oil mixture. Thread 4 pieces of bell pepper, concave side up, onto one 12-inch metal skewer. Thread one-quarter of chicken onto skewer. Thread 2 chunks of onion onto skewer, and place skewer on plate. Repeat skewering remaining chicken and vegetables on 3 more skewers. Lightly moisten 2 pita breads with water. Sandwich 2 unmoistened pita breads between moistened pita breads and wrap stack tightly in lightly greased heavy-duty aluminum foil.
4A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
4B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
5. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place skewers on hotter side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken and vegetables are well browned on all sides and chicken registers 160 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. Using fork, push chicken and vegetables off skewers into bowl of reserved oil mixture. Stir gently, breaking up onion chunks; cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, place packet of pitas on cooler side of grill. Flip occasionally to heat, about 5 minutes.
7. Lay each warm pita on 12-inch square of foil. Spread each pita with 2 tablespoons tzatziki. Place one-quarter of chicken and vegetables in middle of each pita. Roll into cylindrical shape and serve.
Briefly soaking the grilled chicken and vegetables in some reserved marinade before wrapping them in a pita rehydrates their dry exteriors and delivers bright citrus punch.
SOFTENING SUPERMARKET PITA
To soften up dry, tough supermarket pita, we moisten two of the breads with a little water and then stack them on either side of two unmoistened pieces. Then we steam the breads in a foil-wrapped stack on the cooler side of the grill while the cooked chicken rests.
A VEGETABLE SHIELD
The age-old problem with grilling meat on a stick: The end pieces overcook. We protect the chicken by threading pepper and onion pieces on the ends. The charred vegetables taste great in the sandwich, too.
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Madeira SauceWeekly Schedule
Two 1-1 1/2 pound tenderloins
salt and pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup Madiera wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup of heavy cream
Fresh chopped parsley
Heat oven to 425 degrees
Trim each tenderloin of any silver skin (this can be tough when cooked, just use a small sharp knife and slide the blade under and outward to remove it). Pat pork dry with paper towels.
Then, using your hands, rub the tenderloins all over with 1 tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and rub until both tenderloins are evenly coated.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed oven-safe frying pan over medium heat. You will know when the pan is ready when the oil shimmers.
Add the pork tenderloins and cook, turning occasionally, until evenly browned all over. This should take about 12 minutes.Transfer the browned pork to a large plate or cutting board.
Roast 10 to 15 minutes or until an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers between 145 and 150 degrees F (63 and 65 degrees C).
Transfer pork to a large plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest about 10 minutes.
Skim any fat from pan juices -- add 1/4 cup water and heat, deglazing the pan as you go. (that means scraping up the brown bits) Add the Madeira, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until reduced by about one half. Combine the cornstarch mixture and the cream and stir until blended. Add to the pan and quickly stir into the juices. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the pork at a slight angle and either pour the sauce over the slices and top with the chopped parsley or put the sauce in a serving bowl and let people put their own on.
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