9 March 2012

Chicken brochettes and rice pilaf (and lemon potatoes)

I grew up in Montreal where we have a very diverse mix of cultures, which I love. It allowed me to learn so much and to taste so many different foods. One of my favourites is Greek. I just LOVE it!! And when I moved to Eastern Ontario, we found a great restaurant that does great Greek fare, Philos. Now that we are out East, I haven't found a great place. We have tried 2 places so far; one was an "it's Ok" kinda place and the other was an "um never again". There is one other place that we have yet to try, but going out to eat is on the back burner for the moment. In the meantime, I managed to find some recipes for one of our favourite meals: chicken brochettes, rice pilaf, lemon potatoes and a little salad. We did pasta salad this time but usually it is a romaine salad with lots of colour: red peppers, black olives, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions and feta cheese. I simply replaced the lettuce with some fusilli pasta. And of course, you have to have the best tzatziki (or close to it). I have a great recipe for that too...but a later post will come with the recipe. For this meal, we used the Skotidakis brand found at Costco, it was great. There is some preparation that goes with this meal, but so worth it in the end. Allow for 3-6 hours for your chicken to marinate. I started my recipe late but lucky enough, DH worked late so the chicken marinated for close to 4 hours. And as DH put it, this is restaurant chicken! LOL, so worth it.
Note: I unfortunately don't have any pictures for this meal yet. We ate so late the day it was made, that pictures weren't an option. But I will update with some pics once we have this meal again.

Chicken Brochettes
source: thebestmomontheblock.blogspot.com

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
skewers (we have metal skewers for the BBQ or you could use wooden ones soaked in water)

For the marinade, combine the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano and thyme in a large resealable zippered bag or in a bowl and add your chicken. Marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. I flipped my bag every so often while marinating. Heat the grill and skewer the chicken once marinated. Grill for about 3-4 mins each side (I did 3-4 sides - I wanted some BBQ flavour on all parts of my chicken LOL).

Rice Pilaf
source: thebestmomontheblock.blogspot.com

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 med carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
3 cups of chicken stock or water
kosher salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pot and add the onion, carrot, celery and zucchini and sauté for a few minutes. Add the oregano, thyme and salt. Now add the rice and stir to brown for about 2 minutes. Add the stock, stir and cover. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is light and fluffy (about 20 minutes). ** This makes a lot of rice!

Lemon Potatoes
source: Australian Women's Weekly cookbook

(recipe is easily halved)
12 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
1 1/2 tbsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper and salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Place diced potatoes in a bowl. Combine remaining ingredients. Once combined, pour over potatoes and stir well to coat. Place potatoes on rimmed  baking sheet and cook for 50 mins. I checked for doneness at 40 mins as my oven seems to cook faster.

Serve this meal along side a nice greek salad (romaine salad, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, peppers, feta cheese and some Greek salad dressing) and some extra tzatziki of course!

Happy cooking!


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