Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Simple Greek Chicken Dinner

I love how easy and quick this meal is -- an hour from start to finish.

Chicken with lemon and oregano, rice pilaf and Greek salad

1. 1 lb. or so of chicken breast tenders (I usually use already-cut chicken breast tenders, though it's cheaper to buy whole pieces and cut them up, yourself.)
2. juice from 2 lemons
3. generous sprinkling of oregano (dried or chopped fresh)
4. 2-3 cloves garlic
5. 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
6. 1 head romaine lettuce
7. cherry or grape tomatoes (15-20)
8. 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
9. 1/4 cup kalamata olives
10. 1 cup basmati or brown rice
11. 1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil, maybe a little more for salad dressing. Use your judgment.
12. 2-3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
13. a squirt or 2 of mustard 

14. Salt and pepper to taste

Make it:

Rice first: Saute about 1/2 of the onion in a little olive oil in saucepan on med-low heat for 10 minutes. Add rice, 2 to 2 and a quarter cups water, a generous sprinkling of salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring once. Should take about 35 minutes.

Salad second: Rinse lettuce, shake dry, tear and place in salad bowl. Rinse and add tomatoes (I cut them in half so the juice adds to the dressing). Add olives and feta and set aside.

Chicken: Rinse chicken tenders and place in skillet or stove-safe casserole dish. (You'll want a serviceable lid for this.) Add olive oil, juice from 2 lemons, the rest of the diced onion, crushed/diced garlic, oregano and salt and pepper. Mix around to coat the chicken. Set on stove top and turn heat to med-high. It should start bubbling after 2-3 minutes. Turn over chicken, cook another minute or 2, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, checking/turning once or twice. Remove lid and turn up heat to brown the chicken a little (just 2 minutes or so). Cut into chicken to make sure it's done, then turn off heat. At this point the rice should be about done. Turn off heat and keep covered.

Salad dressing: Mix equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar and a little mustard in a jar, shake and dress salad. Toss and serve.

Serve the chicken over rice, drizzling remaining chicken sauce (juice, really) over both.


You can use whole pieces of chicken, but your cooking time will increase. Also, if you use bone-in chicken with skin, you can cut back on the olive oil, as the chicken will provide a bit of fat. Let me know how it goes!

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