Sunday, February 26, 2006

Opa!

Tonight I went back to the new favorite Italian tome, "The Silver Spoon" and made...Greek Chicken! Yep, an Italian Cookbook for Greek cuisine. Doesn't surprise me at all. You pick up any "American" cookbook and it'll be filled with food from all over the world, so why can't an Italian cookbook have a recipe from their Mediterranean neighbor?

I'll say right out, that I had to alter the recipe some because when I went to the store they didn't have a full chicken! This has happened to be a few times before. The shelves are overrun with over-priced, over-processed boneless skinless chicken breasts (which are fine and I use them ALL THE TIME!), but this time I wanted a full chicken...and there were none...and the packages of parts...really were unpleasant in appearance. I just need to make a commitment and head back to Eastern Market once a week for things like this. It's out of the way for me now, but really worth it.

So anywho...here is tonight's dinner:

Greek Chicken
Pollo alla Greca

1 chicken
5 TB olive oil
juice of 1 lemon, strained
1 TB fresh, chopped oregano
Salt & Pepper

Gently rub the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper and put a pinch of salt in the cavity. Whisk 4 TB of oil with the lemon juice and half the oregano in a bowl, season with S/P, add to the chicken and marinate for at least 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade an dplace in a roasting pan with the remaining oil. Roast, turning frequently and basting with the reserved marinade, for 1 1/2 hours until tender. Serve sprinkled with remaining oregano.

That's how the recipe is in the book.

Here's what I did:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 TB olive oil
juice of 1 lemon, strained
2 tsp, dried oregano
Salt and Pepper

Again, no full chickens at the store and no fresh oregano. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so use less.

Trim up any leftover fat on the chicken and place in a ziptop bag. Add the marinade as described above with the 4TB of oil and lemon juice. Allow to marinade for an hour.

In a large fry pan over high heat, place the chicken breasts, (reserve the marinade) give them five minutes per side and allow to get a good nice sear on them. Then transfer to the oven set at 425 for about 10 minutes--until cooked through.

Meanwhile take the reserved marinade and put in a tiny saucepan--there won't be much--and bring to a boil and allow to reduce for a minute or two. I have nice stainless steel measuring cups...I put the marinade in the 1 cup measure and carefully held it over the gas flame...it was the perfect size. When the chicken is done, pour over!


I served the chicken with:

Roasted Red Onion and Tomato Orzo

Fresh thyme, about 2 tsp, give or take
1 medium red onion, diced medium
1 can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all of the ingredients, in a small, shallow baking dish. Put in the oven and roast. My batch took an hour, I stirred the mixture every 20 minutes. The last five minutes got about a TB of olive mixed in and then went under the broiler to get everything nice and carmelized.

--

And PS: I want to give a shout out to Ms. Chase for a lovely time on Saturday afternoon/evening. We meet up for a blogger blind-date and had a great dinner at Rosa Mexicano in the Penn Quarter. She's pretty freakin' cool! Good times.

9 comments:

ScottE. said...

I liked it. I'd certainly make it again and I'd love to make it with full chicken or even with "parts" on a grill in the summer. The orzo is great and can be a nice side to alot of dishes. The first time I served it, was with my recipe for Greek Meatballs. Yum!

I'm looking forward to this as lunch in the next day or so.

ScottE. said...

PS: Looking at this entry in Explorer and it look like crap...gonna try to fix it ASAP! Sorry if you're having problems...damn!

ScottE. said...

GRRRRRR! So I actually had to re-build the post to fix a bunch of problems that were not visible last night while I worked on the post. And now I can't import the photo...I've tried a few times....so I'll had it back in tonight when I'm back home.

Stef said...

This sounds really tasty - I may have to back down on my foreswearing of anything "Greek" for a while... ;-)

Dancer in DC said...

I love this orzo so much. One of my favorites.

ScottE. said...

I guess I forgot the rest of the recipe for the orzo...after onions and tomatoes have roasted and carmelized....mix in with some cooked orzo. For the two of us, I did about one cup of uncooked orzo, cooked per the instructions on the package. There is one secret ingredient....I dropped in a boullion cube into the cooking water to flavor the orzo a little extra.

Complacent Chase said...

It was great meeting you too! I had such a fun time. We will have to do it again, soon.

Jon said...

Those are some massive chicken breasts. I'm gonna do the orzo with lemon zest and olive oil this week, btw. I've never really expereimented with orzo before -- should be a hoot.

ScottE. said...

Jon,

Orzo can get mushy quickly...so taste test often...it's window from not done to over done is slim...but it is awesome!