Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, Grandparents, and Utah

Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, Grandparents, and Utah

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Today we will be making Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, one of our favorite recipes for chicken. We made this batch of chicken for our retired school counselor neighbor who is recovering from hip replacement surgery.greek chicken 1

She is one of our favorite neighbors and reminds us a lot of our grandma, who passed away four years ago on this day.

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Our grandparents spent the majority of their long lives in Utah, where they had a farm and a fruit stand. Earlier this week, we talked about Japanese Internment Camps during World War II. Well, our grandparents met after our grandma left Minidoka and took a job 200 miles southeast in our grandpa’s hometown in Utah.

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Our grandparents loved Greek food and you may ask: how did a pair of Japanese Americans who lived in Utah, before the foodie revolution, even know about good Greek food?

greek chicken 4The answer is that there is a large population of people of Greek descent who live in Utah. During the early 1900s, there was an influx of Greek immigrants to America and several ended up moving from West. Many came to Utah to work in the mines. You can read more about the Greeks in Utah here.

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Last year, we went on a road trip to Utah. While we were there, we went to a couple of amazing local fast food restaurants, Greek Souvlaki and Crown Burgers. They both had their version of chicken souvlaki on their menus. We tried it at both spots and after that we were hooked. When we got home, we began experimenting with different marinades until we got it just right.
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While we never made this chicken for our grandparents, it is definitely a recipe they would have loved. This chicken is tender, moist and full of flavor. We have also used this marinade with pork and is just as delicious.

Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki

Delicious Grilled Chicken Souvlaki


  • 2 pounds of chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice from about 3 lemons
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves minced, about a heaping tablespoon


  1. Whisk all ingredients except for the chicken
  2. Place cubed chicken into a ziploc bag
  3. Pour marinade over the chicken
  4. Press all the air out of the bag
  5. Massage chicken so the marinade is between all the pieces
  6. Place bag into a bowl in case the bag leaks and refrigerate
  7. Marinate 20-24 hours, massaging the chicken twice
  8. Skewer chicken and grill until the internal temperature reaches 160°F
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The older of the Z.Y. Doyle sisters, Al wanted to grow up to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, preferably Michelangelo. Instead, she grew up to be a writer, photographer, indie-publisher, and enthusiastic cook. She keeps the TMNT dream alive by eating pizza at least once a month and hanging out with her super cool desert tortoise.
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