Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chirping Copycat

In New York City, the Upper West Side is my neighborhood of choice.  That's where I usually stay and frequent.  Ever since I started going to NYC, I would always see this little place called "Chirping Chicken" on the corner of Amsterdam & 77th.  Their specialty is charcoal broiled chicken amongst other delicious things.   The place is always packed, and there are always about 25 delivery bikes parked outside, ready to whisk off a chicken dinner to the next lucky caller.  For some reason, I waited until last summer to try it.  WOW now I know why people are lined up in there.  That stuff is amazing!!!  I ordered the souvlaki which was a feast consisting of char-grilled chicken, Greek salad, warm pita bread, tzatziki sauce, and french fries.  It was DELICIOUS.  I went back like three more times after that before my time in NYC was up.  Ever since then, I have been CRAVING that chicken, and if they delivered to Durham, I would be willing to pay a hefty delivery charge!  But, since they don't deliver to Durham, I went on a mission to create a meal similar to the one I get there.  I made chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, french fries, and Greek salad.  I would have added warm pita, but I forgot it at the grocery.  Feel free to add pita when you make it!  It was really easy with a lot of store-bought ingredients, and this "chirping copycat" is now one of our weekday faves. 
Chicken Souvlaki (serves 2 - easy doubles for 4)
2 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced

Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Marinate in a Ziploc bag with next 5 ingredients (lemon juice through garlic).  Let marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour - not too much longer because the lemon juice starts to break down the chicken.  Then, "grill" on a grill pan or large skillet (or a grill if you actually have one!!) until crispy on both sides and cooked through.  Remove to cutting board to rest for a few minutes and then slice.

Tzatziki Sauce:  This is an amazing sauce made with Greek yogurt, garlic, and cucumber.  You can make your own, but I did not make my sauce.  The fine people at "Cedars" made my sauce and Whole Foods kindly sold it to me.  
French Fries:  I bought the Ore Ida Shoestring Fries - super easy - and taste like restaurant fries but from the oven!  Halfway through cooking, I took them out of the oven and tossed them with Cajun seasoning before returning to oven.  This made the fries seasoned and delicious!

Greek Salad:  In a bowl, toss together chopped romaine lettuce, halved grape tomatoes, sliced Kalamata olives, sliced baby cucumber, and low fat crumbled feta.  Toss with a balsamic vinaigrette or Greek salad dressing.

Pretty similar to "chirping" without the 7 hour drive!
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