Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crispy Greek Chicken and Lemon Fennel Angel Hair (with Feta, Greek Olives and Mint)

Don't forget, with all of my blogs, click on the pics!  The space provided to me doesn't do it justice. I don't do "artsy" food pics.  I take pics that are real, in your face, "OMG, I would so eat this," pics. 

That, my friends, is the essence of THIS blog!

Mama Pirri came home from the hospital today.  She was encouraged by her doctor to eat regular food, although to keep it on the lighter side.  I came up with a dish that covers all bases;  everything she likes - garlic, olive oil and lemon and wouldn't you know, fennel! 

I selected fennel because it's very good for the digestion.  Keep this in mind if someone in your family has to go on a light diet for medical reasons. 

Cook's Note:  Google it!  Fennel is truly a miracle food! 

All  great things come from God and Mother Earth!

So, I made this...

Crispy Greek Chicken.  So Easy and So Good!
And this...

Lemon Fennel Angel Hair with Feta, Greek Olives and Mint

Both of these dishes are so, so easy.  I managed to work out this morning (swore at Jillian Michael's in the process while doing her "No More Trouble Zones" DVD).  I started work by 9 AM ( I work from home).  I took care of two dogs, finished a work project AND took a late lunch to get Mama Pirri from the hospital.  Then went back to work for a couple of hours and still I managed to pull this one off! 

I AM WOMAN!  And I am dating myself... ye gads! 

Blogger's Note:  If the "I Am Woman" reference isn't bad enough, I had to write, "Ye gads?"  Anyhoo...

Marinated chicken dishes are a busy cook's dream because the marinade does double duty; the marinade flavors the dish, of course -- DUH -- but it also serves as a browning agent in the oven.  If you follow my roasting technique, you'll have juicy chicken with lots of flavor AND a great, crispy skin.  I always say, if you're going to splurge and have the skin on the chicken, make it worthwhile and this dish definitely hits a home run.

Note the baseball references in this blog tonight.  Do you think I'm ready for spring training?

Crispy Greek Chicken

Six pieces of skin on dark meat, bone-in Chicken (legs and thighs work well)
Grill Seasoning for Chicken, to taste

For the Marinade: 
2/3 cup oil-based (not creamy) bottled Greek Dressing
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
I teaspoon dried Rosemary
Juice of one small Lemon
Coarsely ground Black Pepper, to taste
One clove Garlic, crushed

Butter flavored Cooking Spray

For the sauce (optional)
Two Splashes of Chicken Stock
Two Splashes of dry White Wine
Lemon Slices or Wedges (optional)

Whisk together all marinade ingredients and pour over chicken.  Marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight, turning once.

Preheat oven to 450°. 

Remove chicken from marinade.  Place in roasting pan sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray.   Roast, covered, for 45 minutes.  Remove cover. 

Reduce heat to 350°.  Roast chicken for another 20 minutes until browned. 

For the sauce:  Add chicken stock and wine to pan drippings, scraping the browned bits off the bottom.  Reduce by half and serve over chicken. 

Cook’s note:  Lemon slices and wedges are optional (but suggested). 
You will want that extra little splash of sunshine on the chicken at the end!

Fennel Angel Hair

½ lb dry Angel Hair Pasta, uncooked
1 tablespoon Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
1 Fennel Bulb, sliced wafer thin
1 small Sweet Onion, sliced
Ladle of starchy Cooking Water (from the pasta)
Juice of One Medium Lemon
2 ounces crumbled Feta Cheese
8 Greek Olives, pitted and chopped
Garlic Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Chopped Fresh Mint, to taste
Fresh Fennel Frawns (optional)

Cook pasta per package directions, under cooking by one minute (pasta will continue to cook in the skillet).

In a medium skillet, add olive oil.  Sauté fennel and onion over medium-low heat until softened and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Add pasta to pan.  Add cooking water and lemon juice.  Toss.

Add feta and chopped olives.  Toss again.  Add garlic salt and pepper.  Toss one more time.

Plate.  Top with mint and fennel frawns (if using).

Mama Pirri LOVES Cooked Fennel.  Who knew?

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