I love souvlaki. Growing up in a Greek household, lemon olive oil chicken with tons of garlic and fresh herbs was a mainstay around our table and continues to be one of my favorite comfort foods to this day. While we rarely skewered the chicken, baking it was always easier, it was still souvlaki in flavor and that’s what really matters.
As the summer months approach, lighting up your grill for a quick evening meal becomes a lot easier, especially with the longer daylight hours. There’s nothing better in my opinion than a cool glass of iced tea and some old-fashioned grill therapy as the sun sets and the fireflies come out.
To make easy souvlaki chicken thighs, you’ll need a few basic ingredients. First, you’ll need a package of boneless skinless chicken thighs. Next add some lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and a heaping helping of fresh chopped garlic. Allow the chicken thighs to marinate for 1 – 2 hours before grilling.
Make sure to preheat your grill, if you are using a gas grill you can set it to medium/high heat and allow it to warm up for 30 minutes or so before you are ready to grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, which is my preferred style of grill, go ahead and light the charcoal about 45 minutes before you think you’ll want to get started cooking.
Once the grill is hot, you can sear the chicken thighs and allow them to roast on one side before flipping them and allowing them to finish cooking. Because of the high heat profile of grilling, I like to use medium-bodied olive oil for the souvlaki marinade. While I love the light and fruitier notes of light-bodied olive oils as well as the deeper, earthier tones of a full-bodied extra virgin olive oil, a medium-bodied oil will grill well without becoming acrid or bitter. Furthermore, you won’t lose all the delicate olive flavor you’d find in fruitier, lighter extra virgin olive oil.
If you want to really punch up the lemon/extra virgin olive oil flavor you can finish the grilled chicken thighs with a touch of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a nice fruity extra virgin olive oil when you are ready to serve them.