Chicken & Halloumi Souvlaki

We’re about a week into January and I’m still eating leaner dishes, avoiding butter (mostly) and trying to be a good boy this January.

Tonight’s dish is another way to kick-up the sometimes boring chicken breast. Cut it up, marinate it, grill it and pair it with something else delicious. In this case, chicken and Halloumi cheese are the elevated to “dymanic-duo” status.

Most souvlaki shacks in Greece and abroad now offer a chicken version of this skewered meat and although I often choose pork or lamb, the chicken option is great when I’m in the mood for lighter fare.

When you add Halloumi cheese into the mix, chicken souvlaki’s stock immediately rises in the foodie’s Bourse. For those unfamilar with Halloumi, is a firm cheese that is made in Cyprus, Lebanon and enjoyed throughout the Middle East.

It’s made from a goat & sheep’s milk blend and when it’s chewed, it often squeaks against your teeth (which I find neat) and it’s best trait, it’s delicious.

The reason I’ve chosen Halloumi cheese here is that it’s a cheese that holds up well over heat. Be it fried or grilled, Halloumi holds together and for the purpose of this take on souvlaki, it’s your best bet.

This dish can be completed on your outdoor grill or one of those grilling pans you place on your stovetop. Being quite aware that there are Northern and Southern hemisphere readers of this blog, again this dish works for both!

This Chicken & Halloumi souvlaki was eaten in the context of a meze, an appetizer or part of a succession of Greek bites between sips of Tsipouro, a winter green salad tossed in a light vinaigrette, some warmed pita bread and some fruit for dessert.

The chicken breasts are cut into pieces that are the same size as your Halloumi pieces (so that they cook in the same amount of time) and the chicken is marinated for a couple of hours in flavours native to Greece, such as thyme, bay leaves, honey and red wine vinegar.

Chicken & Halloumi Souvlaki
(makes meze for 8 or 4 light main servings)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts,
cut into cubes

Marinade
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

4 Tbsp. olive oil

8 bay leaves

1 scallion, finely chopped

2 sprigs of lemon thyme
1 Tbsp. of honey

1 shot of Ouzo

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

salt and pepper
approx. 500 gr. of Halloumi cheese,

cut into cubes
(same size as chicken pieces)

warm pita bread

wedges of lemon

wooden skewers

  1. Rinse and pat dry your chicken breasts and then cut them lenghtwise in half. Now cut them across into cube-sized pieces and set aside.
  2. In a zip-lock bag, all of the marinade ingredients and stir to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning and then add your pieces of chicken into the bag. Seal and squish the contents to coat all of the chicken pieces. Marinade in the fridge for 2 hours and then bring back to room temperature before grilling.
  3. Cut your pieces of Halloumi cheese into pieces that are the same size as the the chicken. Strain the marinade (and discard) from your chicken pieces and alternately skewer a piece of chicken and Halloumi onto each skewer.
  4. Pre-heat your outdoor grill (or indoor stove-top grill) to a medium-high heat and ensure the grill surface is free of residue and lubricated with a vegatable oil before grilling. Season your skewers with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill your chicken and Halloumi skewers for about 2 minutes a side and serve on plates with beds of warm pita bread and wedges of lemon.

NOTE: The wooden skewers do not need to be soaked in water prior to grilling as they are not apt to burn while on the grill for such little time.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.blogspot.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author. © 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

© 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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62 Comments for “Chicken & Halloumi Souvlaki”

Paula

says:

Oooh, sign me up for some C&H Souvlaki! That's quite a marinade with the honey and Ouzo. We grill year round, I just love eating grilled food in the long weeks of winter. This dynamic duo would be most welcome on my plate. YUM!

Proud Italian Cook

says:

Thanks to you Peter, I have become a big fan of halloumi, and then you paired it with souvlaki and pita! Oh joy of joys!!!

We Are Never Full

says:

a simple and perfect meal to try and detox! you’ve inspired a weeknight meal i haven’t had in ages! mmmmmm… who needs butter, right? RIGHT?!?!?

Bridgett

says:

You can’t beat grilled meats, especially when they look as delicious as this. Great idea with the halloumi.

Nina Timm

says:

I normally add dried fruit to my kebabs, but the squeaky cheese is such a neat idea, thx Peter!

Heather

says:

Ooh, how pretty. I never thought of making a souvlaki on a stick. Eating foods off a stick seems lighter, dunnit?

kat

says:

This sounds so good but all I could think about while reading it was “oh man grilling in January in Toronto!”

MeetaK

says:

Incredible! The funny thing is I plan to make chicken skewers today too . the halloumi added to this looks great.

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

OMG, that looks delicious! I love halloumi, but it’s so difficult to buy that speciality here…

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

OMG, that looks delicious! I love halloumi, but it’s so difficult to buy that speciality here…

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

OMG, that looks delicious! I love halloumi, but it’s so difficult to buy that speciality here…

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

OMG, that looks delicious! I love halloumi, but it’s so difficult to buy that speciality here…

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

OMG, that looks delicious! I love halloumi, but it’s so difficult to buy that speciality here…

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

OMG, that looks delicious! I love halloumi, but it’s so difficult to buy that speciality here…

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

OMG, that looks delicious! I love halloumi, but it’s so difficult to buy that speciality here…

Cheers,

Rosa

Happy cook

says:

Totally agree chicken can be sometimes really borring.
Loved the way you have jazzed it up.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy 2009.

ΕΛΕΝΑ

says:

I like the idea of halloumi souvlaki. Nice combination with chicken breast.
I also like that you put ouzo in the marinade:))
I am sure you can’t stop in just one souvlaki!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

says:

Very cool — I had no idea that halloumi and chicken would cook in the same time (well, that the chicken would cook before the halloumi melts). We love grilling outdoors all winter, with a grill on our covered porch right outside the kitchen door, so this will be tried sooner than springtime!

Joan Nova

says:

So let me get this straight…you opt for the chicken breast to lessen the fat content and then you partner it up with a piece of cheese? :) P.S. I love the fact that a shot of ouzo always works its way into the recipe.

Judy@nofearentertaining

says:

I have had the hardest time trying to find halloumi here!!! I guess when I am up there in the summer I will have to stock up! I like the squeek, it’s the same that you get when you have fresh cheese curds!

Mila

says:

Peter this looks fabulous! I make this kind of chicken on “Greek Nights” in my house all the time! Yum!

Elra

says:

Simply delicious Peter. I know I can always come to your site, and find an easy recipe that will taste out of the world.
Cheers.
Elra

Catherine Wilkinson

says:

Peter Spanx,
Any idea for an online source for the cheese…I can never find it…I live in a food and wine void. Everything has to be ordered.
I love this souvlaki!

Antonio Tahhan

says:

Now that I work at the cheese dept at Whole Foods I always bring home some of that grilling cheese :) I sometimes use it as an alternative for the armenian grilled cheese sandwiches I make! Thanks for posting this recipe Peter!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

says:

“Dynamic Duo”, indeed! This looks truly outstanding, Peter! I love grilled halloumi and it seems a perfect choice for this dish. Well done!

Karen

says:

This sounds like a fine marinade but I was surprised at the inclusion of EIGHT bay leaves! The finished dish sounds just yummy.

Lisa

says:

I am on my healthy kick also. You plated this dish so well. I have never tried halloumi but must do so soon.

The Short (dis)Order Cook

says:

That’s a really cool marinade. You have inspired me once again.

I have yet to try halloumi. I think it’s going to be one of my food resolutions for 2009. I have been reading a few blogs about it and have been wanting to try it for a while. I think it’s time to take the plunge

Lo

says:

OK — a few quick things:
1)I’m always on board for souvlaki
2)Halloumi… *drool*
3)The flatbread is putting me over the edge, Peter.

YUM.

Jen

says:

Now you’ve got me craving halloumi! I love that stuff. Probably too much but it was a revelation to someone who grew up with cheddar as the only cheese option :-)

Grace

says:

i personally greatly prefer chicken to other meats, so you’ve really tickled my fancy here. meanwhile, it just occurred to me, but i’ll bet you make a mean pita. :)

Marc @ NoRecipes

says:

These look great. The squeaky texture of halloumi always weirds me out a bit, but I love the way it tastes especially when it’s been grilled or fried with a nice crust on the outside.

Gloria

says:

Aaahh! Peter, my dear Peter you never dissapointed me!!! always something tasty and delicious, love it!!! xxGloria

PD: I really love pita!

Mochachocolata Rita

says:

yum yum yum….i just got a charcoal grill (super mini) as a bday gift. i shall get grillin’ ^_^

giz

says:

Love the chicken skewers with cheese but the halloumi – somehow I just don’t warm up to it – find it really salty. Were you really outside firing up the bbq or grilling indoors?

[eatingclub] vancouver || js

says:

This sounds delicious! Oh, I love that you’re grilling in January. We’ve been so waterlogged over here.

One question: is halloumi edible when not cooked?

Foodycat

says:

That marinade sounds wonderful! And with chicken and yummy squeaky cheese it would be superb.

Katherine Aucoin

says:

I haven’t heard of hallouni cheese before. If it’s unavailable, what would you recommend that would hold up to heat? These look so wonderful, I want to try them. Love the idea od Ouzo in the marinade!

Núria

says:

I knew I would come over your blog and find some cheese in it!!! No new purposes for 2009, chico? Is cheese invading the food world? Couldn’t you just insert some typical peppers between the chicken?

He, he, just kidding! Love to be back to see your creations Mr. Minakis :D

ONe question, though… sometimes you write Minaki and sometimes Minakis… Is there a final “s” or not?

Happy New Year darling!!!!

Jeanne

says:

Great minds think alike – I just posted a haloumi dish today! It realyl is one of my favourite cheeses… Like you, I have the sudden urge to eat light and this dish looks perfect, without sacrificing taste. Thanks!

joe@italyville.com

says:

Looks delicious Peter… is the shot added to the marinade or taken during the making of the marinade?

Dawn

says:

really Ouzo as a marinade? Hmmm sounds interesting indeed.
I miss grilling…too cold outside lately.

ellysaysopa.com

says:

Oh man this sounds good. What a great idea to skewer the halloumi with the chicken! Droooool.

soma

says:

My first time here. This looks wonderful! I love mediteranean food! & you used Ouzo in the marinade! that must have given the delicate flavor. what a great meal.
Soma(www.ecurry.com)