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Posts tagged ‘chicken’

roasted chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon

I’ve made some promises to you recently and thought with this post I might make good on a few of them at once. I’ve promised bright and fragrant dishes from sunny climates to chase the winter doldrums; I’ve promised a special Sunday dinner, and a wonderful recipe for roasted chicken.  And you clever readers might have guessed too that you’d be seeing still more of Ottolenghi here. And you are. And because we’ve talked so much of onions with the last couple spreenkles, we might as well throw them into the mix as well. This is a veritable shrmorgasbord (how in the world do you spell that word? I’ll google it!) a veritable  smörgâsbord  of promises kept.

I’ve spoken before (in the roasted eggplant with yogurt sauce and pomegranates recipe) of two spices essential in Middle Eastern cooking – you won’t find them at Safeway or Krogers. But I hope you won’t let that deter you! You can find them on line easily (google!) or at a Middle Eastern market if you have one near you. They are Sumac (powdered deep red, tart like a lemon, or cranberries, wonderful!) and a spice blend called za’atar, fragrant and delicious!  Neither is expensive at all and they’ll last you for some time. (You’ll be thinking of sending thank-you notes and possibly even flowers – I love tulips! – for suggesting you add them to your spice cupboard.)

More familiar though to your nose and palate are cinnamon and allspice. Those too become part of the amazing perfume of this dish.

I want you to know – just as an aside – that I never ever put him up to it, but sprees-grateful -guinea-pig may be chiming in on this dish. He’s positively wild for it.

The recipe is very straight-forward and simple to prepare (once you have the right ingredients.) The chicken (free-range, vegetarian-fed is best) will marinate for several hours to over-night. The flavors, other-worldly-good, and the onions, of my gosh, the onions! (You expect this from me now, right? If I love something, you won’t have a moment’s doubt about it.  I   l o v e    t h i s   d i s h !  It’s from Ottolenghi, and he’s an artist and a genius in the kitchen!  Cooking is all about a celebration of ingredients for Ottolenghi, and lucky for us, we’re invited to the party.)

Let’s start with just a little celebration of the red onion, so humble, so under-appreciated and so crazy good when prepared right…

This recipe calls for two red-onions, thinly sliced…

even their mess manages to be pretty...click on the image & you'll see

Roasted Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

  • 1 large organic or free-range chicken, divided into quarters – breast & wing, and leg & thigh
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon sumac
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 200 ml (almost 7 ounces) chicken stock
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons za-atar
  • 1 generous Tablespoon (20 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1¾ ounces (50 grams) pine nuts – a generous ½ cup
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large bowl, or ceramic baking dish, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices (except for za’atar), lemon slices, stock, salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight. Read more

lavender chicken breasts in Champagne sauce ~ with mushrooms

Time’s a wasting! Let me cut right to the chase. Would you like to put on the table a dinner that makes you feel like you just came out of Cordon Bleu with your own chef’s cap and apron? Would you like to set down a plate in front of someone you love with a proud little smirk on your face? Would you like to feel accomplished and loving all with one gorgeous dinner? You’ve got this one in the bag!

I want so badly to describe to you how lovely this dish is! Let me try, while the taste still lingers on my tongue. I’ve discovered that there’s something inexplicable about lavender in one’s mouth. In the right proportions, it’s neither a scent nor a taste, but somewhere smack dab in between the two. As my sweet husband and I sat eating our dinner tonight I was (so sorry honey) distracted trying to identify just where the lavender touched – and it was, honest to goodness, top of the palate where it borders the nose. Ok, you don’t care about that, and why should you?

This is what you want to know:

Lavender chicken in champagne sauce is one of the most exquisitely delicious chicken dishes I’ve ever prepared. I’ve made it several times now, and each time, the same. I can hardly stop sighing. And for a romantic dinner for two that’s an especially nice thing.

Lavender Chicken Breasts

in Champagne Sauce with Mushrooms

serves 6

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried culinary Provence lavender buds, finely ground in a spice grinder (see NOTE)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups thinly sliced small brown mushrooms
  • ½ cup minced shallots
  • ½ cup Champagne
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon concentrated chicken stock – optional (also known as Glace de Poulet GoldBetter than Boullon is one brand)
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Fresh thyme sprigs or lavender sprigs (optional)

NOTE on lavender: For culinary lavender, one good source (if you don’t find in the bulk tea section of your market, is Amazon.

Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the lemon juice, thyme and lavender. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Brush the dust from the mushrooms and slice thinly. Dice the shallots. Set aside.

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, place the oil and 4 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted, add the chicken breasts and brown on each side, about 7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Read more

Greek baked chicken with orzo

In several previous posts, I’ve written of our Dad. (If you haven’t yet seen it, you may want to read: Orange Flowers. ) His influence  on me (on us all) was enormous, though he didn’t even come to be my dad until I was already a gawky ten-year-old girl. His tender love forever changed me. We lost him a few years back, but his birthday’s coming very soon. I’m posting this recipe now – it’s one I think our Greek Pop would have loved.  I’m thinking primarily of my family when I say this, but if anyone out there would like to prepare this on November 2nd, I’d like to think there will be at least one more smile than the ones you see around your own table.

Efharisto!

This chicken dish is a common Sunday one-pot meal on the Greek islands, where chickens are raised primarily for their eggs. Therefore, it’s considered special – besides that, it’s absolutely wonderful!

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Baked Chicken with Orzo – Kotopoulo Youvetsi

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 4-pound free-range chicken, cut into 6 pieces (or the equivalent weight in pieces you choose)
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1½ teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or a pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups grated ripe tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes with their juice
  • Salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
  • 1 pound orzo (you substitute elbow macaroni) – cooked in plenty of boiling salted water for only 2 minutes, then drained
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ cup coarsely grated hard myzithra, pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the chicken parts in batches until brown on all sides. Set aside.

Add the onion to the pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, oregano, pepper or pepper flakes and tomatoes. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and return to the Dutch oven. Add about 1/2 cup of stock, or enough to come about two-thirds of the way up the chicken.  (You want to be sure that the breast meat is sunk quite deeply into the sauce, so just the very top of it sticks above. That will help prevent it from drying out.)  Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the now-hot oven.

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Moroccan roasted chicken and buttery couscous

With Ras el Hanout, the blend of Moroccan spices in yesterday’s post, we’re only a few easy steps away from a succulent chicken dinner that will make a Moroccan daydream that much more real.  This is so simple! With the first 9 ingredients you make a paste in your blender. You rub it on your chicken. You put whole or cut lemons and garlic in the cavity. You pop it in the oven. An hour later, you dine like Bogey and Bacall in Casablanca.

Moroccan Roasted Chicken

Put the following ingredients into a blender and puree.

The rub:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon ras el hanout (see NOTE on where  you can purchase)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
The chicken:
  • 4 to 4.5 pound free-range chicken
  • 2 small lemons, pierced all over with a fork – or 1 larger lemon, cut into wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic, un-peeled, barely crushed with the back of a knife

(In yesterday’s post I specified a chicken 4.5 to 5 pounds. I find that the smaller ones are more tender, but you can make that determination for yourself.)

NOTE on where to buy ras el hanout if you decide not to make your own: If you don’t already have most of the spices called for to make your own, it would be less expensive to buy ready-made. One good source on line is at The Spice House –  http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/ras-el-hanout $6.00 for a standard 2 oz. bottle.

Preheat oven to 400°F. It’s best if you can start with a chicken at or near room temperature, so if you’re able to, remove the chicken from the refrigerator an hour or so before you begin. Rinse the chicken in cold water and dry with paper towels. Rub one-third of the spice rub inside the cavity. Insert the lemons and garlic, and tie the legs together. Smear the remaining rub over the chicken. Roast for approximately 45 minutes, or until the internal breast temperature at the thickest part registers 165°. (Alternately you can pierce the leg and make sure that the juices run clear.)  Remove from the oven and tent it with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 or 15 minutes. (This allows time for the juices to sink back into the meat and not flow out onto your cutting board as you carve it.) The lemons cooked inside will be soft and full of juice and are wonderful squeezed on top and served alongside. (We liked it too on our roasted beets.)

(You can begin the couscous about 15 minutes before you expect the chicken to be coming out of the oven.)

Buttery Couscous

A soft, buttery couscous is an ideal accompaniment to this roasted chicken. And again, so easy to prepare. Though I’ve made it plain here, you can add herbs, nuts, spices or dried fruits. Read more

chicken tortilla soup

Here’s a soup that pleases crowds. Everyone in our family makes and serves this soup and everyone, from little kids to (occasionally) grumpy grandpas, loves it. A fairly long list of ingredients, but it’s a soup easily concocted, and easy to double or triple when entertaining bigger groups. If a soup can be casual and fun, this one is.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

(serves 6)

  • four 6-inch corn tortillas
  • about 2 teaspoons olive oil (to brush on tortillas) + 1 Tablespoon (to sauté vegetables with)
  • 2 – 14 ounce cans low sodium chicken broth (or 28 ounces of your very own!)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 -14.5 ounce can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with juice (or see photo for alternative)
  • 1 small can of green chiles, chopped (mild)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can cream of corn (the only time I ever use this stuff!)
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped (1½ cups)
  • ½ red pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 generous Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 12 ounces chicken breast meat (from a grilled, roasted or rotisseried chicken) (see NOTE)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

(NOTE on the chicken: If you use an home-done oven-roasted chicken, save the juices from the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate and remove the fat from the top, and incorporate the tasty juices into your soup.)

Garnishes:

  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips (Tostito lime chips are great here!)
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sliced or chunked avocado
  • a drizzle of hot sauce of your choice – or a sprinkle of the seasoning blend of your choice (like the fabulous “Uncle Jim’s Secret Spice” – if you’re lucky enough to be Jim’s sister)

(Please imagine shredded cheddar on the bowl below.  Sadly, I forgot to add it before I grabbed my camera, so anxious to lift the spoon, I was!)

If you wanted to add rice, or zucchini, green beans,  mushrooms, or a little sweet potato, you could customize this soup entirely to suit your tastes. Didn’t I tell you it was fun?

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Ali’s Summer Salad

My daughter Ali is an enthusiastic, aproned artist in the kitchen, and is all about putting love on the table. She called the other day to say that while at play she’d created a salad she thought I’d like. I’ve been impatiently waiting for my appetite to return because (even while sick) the sounds of this salad set off sweet harmonies and the songs of birds in my head! : )  Last night I was finally able to make it, and once again, the birds did sing!

Ali’s Champange Summer Salad with Chicken, Peaches and Avocado

(serves 4 generously)

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 quarts (8 cups) salad greens – (a salad mix, with some of the spicier, more peppery greens is great – or arugula)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and sliced (see preparation options below)
  • 2 firm-ripe peaches, medium-thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, cut in chunks or thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (optional)
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons Lemon Verbena minced (very optional, but wonderful if you have it)

Champagne Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups canola oil

Options for the Chicken

  1. Quick & Easy – Preheat oven to 350°F. Place breasts on rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup. Brush both sides of chicken with olive oil and generously sprinkle with coarse salt and a little pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes (depending on size and thickness, or until chicken registers 160°F on and instant-read thermometer.) Allow chicken to cool to room temperature. Just before combining with other ingredients, slice diagonally across the grain in 1/2-inch slices.
  2. Slow & Scrumptious – Marinating the chicken before cooking using the following marinade (good also for shrimp or any white fish) and then preparing in the oven or on the grill will add more juicy flavor to your chicken.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 t. dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Combine all marinade ingredients in a gallon-size zipped plastic bag. Pound chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic until uniform thickness, around 1/2-inch. Marinate refrigerated for 4 to 24 hours. (Even after several hours, there is plenty of good flavor.) Grill or cook using any method you prefer until internal temperature reaches 160°F. (See #1.)

Champagne Vinaigrette

This makes a LOT of dressing, and you certainly won’t need it all for this salad. But it IS very delicious and if you look, you’ll have no trouble finding other places to use it during the next week or so. (Virtually any combination of greens and fresh summer fruits would likely do very well dressed in this. That being said, you could easily halve this recipe and still have leftovers.) This could well be a dressing you’ll go to again and again. ( It can keep quite well for a week or so refrigerated.)

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except the oil. Using a whisk, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream until creamy.

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Citrusy Chicken Kabobs with Kumquats & Fennel

I’ve received countless questions about what I eventually did with those kumquats that inspired dinner the other night!! OK, so no one’s asked. But let’s, just for a moment, pretend someone had. I’d say that we just returned from a few quiet days in Central Oregon where my love and I played scrabble on a sunny patio, walked meadows with our dogs, went to bed early, and ate simply. I’d tell them that because I knew there was a grill there, I packed my bag of lovely kumquats. (There ought to be a song.)  I thought that if anything could improve upon the incredible flavor housed in that little fruit, it would be eating them outdoors straight from the grill. I’m not going to claim they were better (I’d say)  but let me tell you what they were. The gentle heating seemed to cause the sweet peel of the kumquat to share its sugars with the tart fruit inside. I’d tell them that as a mouthful, they were deliciously warm, had the tiniest bit of sweet char, and were oozy with juice! Paired with the citrusy-marinated chicken and grilled fennel bulb, it was quite the flavorful plateful! And thank you for asking! (I’d say.)

(For alternative ways to prepare a similar meal, or for substitutions, see Other Options at the bottom of the page.)

Earlier I shared a favorite Moroccan recipe for orange, red onion, olive and fennel salad. I suppose this dinner was inspired by that salad.

Citrusy Chicken Kabobs with Kumquats & Fennel

(serves 4 – 6)

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless, large chicken breasts
  • 2 or 3 small, or 1 to 2 large, fennel bulbs (fronds, stems and hard core removed, bulb cut into wedges or cubes)
  • 1 – 2 red onion, cut into cubes or wedges
  • kumquats – minimum of 4 per person (you’re going to love them)
  • olive oil to brush on the onions and fennel
  • metal skewers

for marinade:

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt & coarsely ground pepper

Prepare the chicken by removing  cartilage, veins and fat. Cut into 1-inch cubes.

Prepare the marinade in a small bowl by whisking all marinade ingredients together. Either in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag or in a medium bowl, combine the marinade and the cut-up chicken. Coat the chicken well and refrigerate (covered with plastic if using bowl) for about an hour. (30 minutes minimum.)

I recommend skewering the onions on a separate skewer, and likewise, the fennel bulb. You can combine kumquats with chicken pieces, or put each on their own skewer. (I did some of each – cut kumquats when skewered with the chicken.) In any case, you don’t want to overcrowd them or they won’t cook properly.

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Chicken Salad with Peas, Feta, and Mint

Peas, feta and mint are such a wonderful combination. Their colors, textures and tastes play off each other beautifully, and when combined with the leftover roasted chicken from the night before, you have a salad that’s easy, cool and refreshing for a warm night or for a slow weekend lunch. With crusty baguette or whole-grain crackers, it’s a salad you can happily linger over, savoring the company you’re with and the flavors on your fork.

Chicken Salad with Peas, Feta and Mint

(Easily serves 4 as a main course.)

  • 3 Tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas (no need to thaw)
  • 3 small spring onions or scallions, white part only, cut into thin rounds or diagonals
  • 4 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, cut into a chiffonade (very thin crosswise strips)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 heads baby romaine, coarsely shredded, or small baby romaine leaves, left whole
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing (see below)
  • Fine sea salt

Fill a large bowl of ice-water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add coarse salt and the peas and blanch until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes (but even less if using baby peas.) (Did you know that adding salt to vegetable cooking water helps preserve their color?) Quickly pour the peas into a colander and submerge the colander into the bowl of ice-water. Drain thoroughly. (If using the peas right away, you can lay them out on a clean dish towel to absorb the water as you prepare the rest of the salad. Otherwise you can refrigerate them.) Read more

Roasted Whole Chicken on the Grill

This dinner all started with kumquats – even though, in the end, it had absolutely nothing to do with kumquats. Now that I think longer about it, this dinner actually started with going out to lunch and trying to avoid a parking ticket.

Maybe it’s just me…but sometimes I like to figure out exactly how I came to be where I am from where I’d just been. It’s often an odd, circuitous path to trace –  kind of like that “six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon” thing, if you know what I mean. Have you ever taken a long road trip with someone and after some lively conversation, there’s a period of prolonged but comfortable silence?  You think what you’re doing is watching the road or taking in all this amazing scenery, when actually, for some mysterious span of time, you’ve not been where you are at all, and suddenly out of your mouth comes something completely random and seemingly related to nothing. Do you ever then try to figure out (or even explain) how you came to be thinking that particular disjointed nonsensical thought? Well, this night’s dinner happened something like that.

Kumquats - having nothing to do with dinner

My husband and I have kind of a “custom” of going out to lunch on Saturdays. We’ll run a few errands and then pass the ball back and forth until one of us finally makes up our mind about where we’d like to eat, and then we sit across from one another talking about the week, news, politics…or sometimes something even more scintillating (if you can imagine!) We love our Saturdays together. Last week, we were following our usual practice and decided on a great little spot for lunch. We started to park in the lot across from the restaurant but realized it was designated for patrons of a grocery store. We parked there anyway –  but felt quite legal about it because we’d just drop into the market first, and then walk across the street for lunch. We had no real reason to be grocery shopping, other than ticket avoidance, but there we were.

The produce aisles always seduce me first, but for my husband, it’s the wine section. So we went our separate ways to meet up later. Weren’t kumquats all done for the season? I thought so, and had said my sad goodbyes – but no! There they were, and they were huge! – well, the biggest I’d ever seen.  I was downright delighted to see them and filled a small bag. My heart soon returned to its normal rhythm, but a little further down the aisle, the cutest little potatoes fanned out, in reds and yellows and purples! And they were smaller than the kumquats! Who ever heard of such a thing? I hadn’t, so I got handfuls of potatoes, simply because they were smaller than kumquats. And then, there was asparagus – now that’s gorgeous! That’ll be so good with those potatoes! I’ll do them together, with lemon and salt on the grill! Ah yes, the grill. Hmmm, I’ve never tried roasting a whole chicken on the grill before. I wonder if I can do that successfully? I think I’m just going to need to find that out!  And that is how I came to be here:

(You are so incredibly patient with me! Are you like this with everyone?)

Roasted Whole Chicken on the Grill

What I love about roasting a whole chicken: It’s far less expensive than buying the individual parts. It’s so straightforward and simple and after the first little bit, largely hands-off. It can be done in so many different and delicious ways…influences of French, Moroccan, Mediterranean, Spanish. Stuffed or not. Surrounded by vegetables of all different types. Sauce or not.  You can cook two at once with almost no additional labor. There’s (almost) always leftovers to turn into another meal. Then there’s the remnants that become a great stock for soups. And my husband loves it. So what’s not to like?

Cooking something on the grill for more than an hour at 400°F+ can only be done successfully using an indirect method. (In other words no coals or gas flames directly beneath the chicken.) So if you know how to cook on your grill using an indirect method, this will be easy! (If you don’t know how, just check the instructions from your grill’s manufacturer, or on line.)

Ingredients

  • 1 whole  chicken (preferably free-range, organic, humanely raised)
  • 2 lemons, 1 cut in half, the other juiced for basting
  • fresh herbs of your choice (rosemary, oregano, marjoram, parsley, sage, etc.)
  • whole garlic cloves, 2 or 3 or more, crushed but not minced
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

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Mediterranean pizza from the grill

There will be two of us for our pizza party tonight. Happily, we each love the clean and fragrant flavors of the Mediterranean. So, for us, what we’ll put on our grill-fired pizzas is easy. Tonight, Greeks and Italians join hands and toss a mess of really good things on our pies!

the goodies:

  • grilled chicken, marinated Mediterranean-style (now this will not be the star of the show, because really, a wonderful pizza doesn’t need meat! – my prejudice coming out! That being said, it IS really tasty.)
  • roasted red peppers
  • roasted garlic
  • drizzles of basil-thick pesto
  • mozzarella 
  • toasted pine nuts
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • fresh herbs (mostly Greek oregano)

Simple, no? Absolutely!! So here’s how:

prepare:

(These preparations can all be done day-of, or day before. It’ll take you maybe forty-five minutes total prep time, depending on whether you’re working alone or with a buddy, and how many children or dogs you have chasing tails underfoot.)

Chicken – At least two hours before dinner, prepare the marinade for the chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 Tbl. olive oil
  • 4 Tbl. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, crushed with the back of a knife
  • 1 tsp. dried Oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. lavender flowers (COMPLETELY optional! but fun)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl and put the chicken in to marinate for a couple of hours (if you have the time.) Turn occasionally.

The dough –  You’ve already got your pizza dough from yesterday, right? About two hours before dinner, remove the dough from the refrigerator, deflate it, and cut it into four pieces. Form each piece into a ball, cover with plastic.  Allow them to come up to room temperature.  Deflate again (because they will have been slowly rising on the counter) and form into four discs, 3 to 4 inches across. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Just before piling with sauce and goodies (see below), roll it out (1/4 to 1/3  inch approximately.)

NOTE: When it comes time, you’ll be taking it out to the grill to bake on one side, then bringing it back to the preparation table to top with the good stuff – and returning to the grill to finish cooking.

Cheese -grate or thinly slice the mozzarella. Crumble the feta – reserve the feta for when the pizza comes off the grill. Refrigerate both.

Roasted garlic – you can see how to roast garlic in my recipe on white bean purée dated May 9, 2011. (You can do this the same time you roast the red peppers. Temperatures vary, but you can compromise.)

Roasted red pepper – Either buy them in a jar, or — Cut a red pepper in half from top to bottom, removing the seeds. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet (or in the toaster oven, along with your garlic). Roast until the skin blisters and bubbles and begins to blacken. (This would take about 35 minutes in a 450° oven.) Remove from the oven with tongs and drop into a brown paper bag. Close the bag up and allow the peppers to steam in there for maybe ten minutes or so. The skin will peel right off. Slice the roasted peppers into long thin strips.

Pine nuts – In the same oven or toaster oven, set temperature to 300° or so. Roast your pine nuts, tossing a time or two, and watching carefully because they will go from just right to burnt in a flash.

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