Crowd Pleasing Chicken

After asking 5 children 16 to 26 for their thoughts on dinner, I got chicken. And so did they. Doubling the recipe took a little extra time, but chicken piccata is a great weeknight option. I also only used one pan, cooking the chicken in batches and keeping it warm in the oven. At the end I threw it all back in the sauce with no one the wiser. No pressure, but I served it with pasta in vodka sauce. Recipe to come.

Click here for the chicken recipe, courtesy of Epicuriois.

Eat – B

 

 

“Remember Summer” Greek Chicken & Salad

Don't you hate when you know everyone expects a dinner but nobody has a suggestion about what it should be? Not helpful! How about pasta bolognese? Or beef stew? Or even meatloaf for goodness sake?!

I did get “something lighter” as a suggestion from the love of my life last week. I took that to mean chicken. This is what we call a no recipe, recipe. Most ingredients are approximate and flexible except the chicken.

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken thin cutlets

1 lemon, halved

3-4 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Olive oil

Salt pepper

Combine 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, juice from half a lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, healthy dose of pepper, chopped garlic and oregano. Marinate chicken a couple of hours in the fridge or 30 minutes counter top. Either way leave on counter top 20 minutes before cooking.

Heat 1 or more tablespoons of oil in heavy duty sauté pan over medium heat. Less if non stick, more if metal. Add chicken in 2 batches (or use 2 pans) when it shimmers. Flip chicken when edges turn opaque. Cooking takes about 3 minutes per side if thin. Meat thermometer should show 165. Squeeze other lemon half over finished chicken.

Serves 4

Salad

2 Persian cucumbers, halved, quartered and sliced

1 pint cherry tomatoes – yr best winter option, halved &/or quartered

Bell pepper, chunked in smaller pieces

Big handful hearty lettuce leaves like romaine, chopped

2 tablespoons dill, chopped

2 scallions sliced

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1 lemon

Olive oil

Calamata olives (optional)

Salt & pepper

Combine all vegetables. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and juice from half the lemon, a few pinches of salt, pepper to taste. Toss and combine feta and olives if using. Adjust olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Carb appreciators add bread or pita. Hummus on the side. I make mine (EZ!) – don't feel compelled.

Eat – B

 

 

Caramel Chicken

Mine is not as pretty as the recipe in the October Bon Appetit (I have so little patience for browning!). BUT, it is super tasty and a great alternative to any of your other chicken standbys. Read the recipe carefully. (Click here to read it) It takes as much time as predicted which is more than you might think. Best for days when you are not behind the dinner 8 ball 🙂

Don't forget the rice. It's the perfect sauce sponge.

Eat – B

 

Nearly Perfect Chicken

For the record, I didn't call it that. My son did…right before he polished it off.

It's really a no recipe, recipe I learned from my mom. She baked it, on just about any piece or part over a lifetime of cooking. I put it on the grill and for the first time in a while, I let the coals settle. High heat would have singed the fruit basted tenders.

1-1/2 pounds chicken tenders, skinless & boneless

Marinade: 2 cloves garlic, 2 glugs soy sauce, 1 glug olive oil, 1 large or 2 small apricots, juice of 1 lime (2 if they're stingy), ground pepper. Whirl it in a processor. Marinate chicken 15-20 minutes on the countertop or longer in the fridge. Maybe 10-12 minutes on medium grill or coals, flipping and keeping an eye out for flames.

Some fresh or dried ginger in the marinade wouldn't hurt. Mango can sub for apricot.

Eat – B

 

Every (any?) Day Hash

So I got two new boy dogs (see photo, below) and I have had less cooking time lately. Not to worry. Necessity being the mother of invention, I threw everything together in a hash this week that I think came out pretty well.

Start with leftover potatoes – if I steam them for anything, I always make extra for a frittata…or in this case, hash. Start crisping them in a tablespoon or two of veg oil.

Add leftover caramelized cumin & garlic peppers and onions (I always make extras of these, try them on grilled cheese!). Then chop and add leftover vegetables like asparagus or green squash. Add the week's steak, or chicken or pork or sausage or tasty tofu.

Let everything meld & get some crunch. Stir in scrambled eggs if desired.

Dinner is done-B

 

 

Chicken! Again

Inspired by my girlfriend's lentil orzo salad (recipe to come from our just discovered mutual friend), I decided to circle the Mediterranean for our cookout. This yoghurt marinade draws Greece into the meal. So EZ! And you get great flavor in the otherwise flavorless breast.

Ingredients:

8 oz Greek yoghurt

3 cloves garlic, minced (more if you want)

1 tablespoon rosemary, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Several pinches salt

Several grinds of pepper

3 lbs skinless boneless chicken (or more flavorful parts) pounded thin

Combine all the ingredients. Let chicken marinate all day.

Prepare grill or pan with oil. Wipe extra marinade off chicken. Grill

one side until edges turn opaque. Flip. Cooked at 165 degrees. Squeeze lemon on top.

Dig in – B

It's good hot & cold.

 

Mixed Grill

Yes it was meat free Monday. No, I did not feel like going to the store. So we're going to consider this something like an Arnold Palmer, 1/2 lemonade and half iced tea. Except in this case it's a half vegan mixed grill (the other half is chicken).

Skinless boneless chicken can take on flavor in 30 minutes on the counter. I like to pound it thinner, which reduces cooking time and raises the chances of juicy chicken. I'm still working over charcoal. My best advice is don't rush the coals. Drink some wine if you must, in fact drink regardless.

The grilled veggies just have olive oil, but a big boost of flavor as well from a quick basil dressing.

Chicken marinade

1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken, your choice

Juice from a lemon

Whatever fresh herbs you have in whatever amount you want, chopped (thyme and oregano are great choices)

A couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or less)

2 big pinches of salt

Some grates of pepper

Marinate 1/2 hour countertop, or several hours in the fridge. If refrigerated, let come to room temp 15-20 minutes. Cook over coals or medium heat on the gas grill, flipped when edges turn opaque. Squeeze extra lemon.

Basil dressing

Large handful washed basil, no stems. Several pinches of salt and several grates of pepper. One garlic clove. Enough olive oil to make pourable dressing (about 1/3 of a cup). Blend in food processor. Add grated Italian cheese if you want.

Great on grilled veggies, bread, fish or chicken.