In Greek, sóuvla means “skewer,” and souvlaki refers to meats that have been skewered and grilled. It’s the iconic street food of Greece, but you don’t need to go to Athens to get your fix. Here, British chef, author and award-winning restaurateur Heston Blumenthal shares his recipe for a flavorful chicken souvlaki that uses the rotisserie attachment of an Everdure grill for perfectly cooked results.
For the chicken:
- 1 cup (1 oz./30 g) fresh basil leaves
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- Grated zest of 2 limes
- 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) olive oil
- 4 lb. (2 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the pickled cabbage:
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 1/3 cups (4 oz./125 g) thinly sliced red cabbage
- Kosher salt
For the garlic mayonnaise:
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 tsp. grapeseed oil
- 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
- Kosher salt
- Warmed flatbreads
- Kosher salt
- Lime wedges
In a mini food processor, combine the basil, parsley, mint, garlic, lime zest and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse puree. Set aside about 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) of the mixture for serving. In a sealable plastic bag, combine the remaining marinade and the chicken. Turn to coat and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
To make the pickled cabbage, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar and sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Put the cabbage in a bowl, pour the cooled liquid on top and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Prepare an Everdure Hub or Fusion grill for rotisserie grilling according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Clip one of the forks onto the grill’s spit. Skewer the chicken pieces on the spit, folding and turning the chicken pieces as necessary to form an even, compact shape. Use the second fork to hold the chicken pieces together.
When the coals are ready for cooking, place the spit on setting 2 and turn on the rotisserie. Grill the chicken, adding more coals as needed to maintain a surface temperature of around 212°F (100°C), until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chicken reaches 150°F (65°C), 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Lower the spit to setting 1 and continue grilling until the chicken is browned and the thermometer registers 170°F (77°C), 20 to 30 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, make the garlic mayonnaise. Place the garlic on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the grapeseed oil and wrap tightly in the foil. Place the parcel on a corner of the grill where the heat is low. Cook until the garlic is very soft and golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let cool. Squeeze the pulp from the garlic cloves into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic to break up any bits. Add the mayonnaise and stir until combined. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
When the chicken is done, remove the spit from the grill and set aside to let the chicken rest for 10 minutes.
To serve, carve the chicken from the spit into bite-sized slices. Arrange some of the chicken and pickled cabbage on a flatbread. Drizzle with some of the garlic mayonnaise, sriracha and some of the reserved marinade. Season with salt and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.
Recipe courtesy of Everdure by Heston Blumenthal