While a Greek holiday getaway might not be in the cards for everyone right now (it certainly isn’t for us), there’s nothing stopping you from experiencing the culinary joy that Greek cuisine brings. And what’s better than when that joy is super affordable and very easy to make. This aromatic, flavorful and delicious tzatziki (pronounced tzaht-zee-kee) dip is all that and more. And as its based in yogurt and not mayonnaise, you can rest easy knowing that the base ingredient is something that’s very beneficial. Tzatziki pairs wonderfully with grilled chicken thighs and pita bread, so we’ve included a recipe for that too.
For the Tzatziki
- 1 cup plain yogurt (greek or homemade ‘saada dahi’ is preferred)
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium cucumber
- Half a lemon
- Salt to taste
For the chicken thighs:
- 4-6 boneless chicken thighs
- Paprika powder
- Garlic paste
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil
The first step is to marinate the chicken. Lay the chicken thighs out on a plate and pat them dry. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with paprika powder and garlic paste and rub it into the surface. Flip them over and do the same on the other side. Put them in a bowl and place the bowl in the fridge for a couple of hours to really let the flavors sink in. You can also leave this in the fridge overnight, but if you’re in a pinch, just a few hours will do as well.
While the chicken is marinating, we’ll make the tzatziki.
In a bowl, add one cup of plain yogurt. Use either homemade, or greek style, but not the kind thats sweetened already (like Nestle or Prema). Whisk it until it’s smooth. Then, using a grater or a microplane or really good knife skills, mince 8-10 cloves of garlic and mix them into the yogurt. Next, wash the cucumber and grate it into the yogurt as well. Don’t worry about the peels, just leave them on. Squeeze in half a lemon (or an entire one if they’re really small) and add salt to taste. Mix mix mix! Put into the fridge to chill and take it out right before serving. This wonderful and heady dip works great to dunk vegetables into, or to dip pita triangles into or just to have with the chicken thighs detailed below.
Once the dip is in the fridge, take the chicken out and lay them out on the plate again. Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet or pan, and while that heats up, sprinkle and rub more paprika powder, some garlic powder and salt on the chicken thighs. Once the oil is hot, carefully place your chicken thighs on the pan, being sure to not move them around too much (if at all) because otherwise you won’t get that wonderful charring on the surface. Sprinkle more paprika powder and salt on the side that’s facing you, and once the chicken has browned, flip it. Cook until the meat is opaque throughout.
To serve, take some pita bread and make a pocket or fold it in half like a taco. Slice up your juicy chicken thigh and place it in your pita pocket. Spoon over some of that creamy tzatziki sauce. You can add some fresh onions and cucumbers if you wish, but honestly its good as it is. Enjoy!