Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yummy food, Kiddos, and Photo a day

Tonight for dinner, straight from the Cook’s Country magazine I made the following recipe:
Lemony Mediterranean Chicken and Rice
      Lemony Mediterranean Chicken and Rice

      Why this recipe works:
      To speed up our Easy Mediterranean Chicken and Rice, we started with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which required zero preparation. A salty marinade with garlic, oregano, lemon zest, and olive oil imparted rich Mediterranean flavors to the notoriously bland chicken breasts. Browning the chicken created a rich fond that we used to flavor the rice, which we were able to cook in a fraction of the time by parcooking it in the microwave.
      Serves 4
      • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped, plus 1/4 cup olive brine
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
      • 4 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
      • Salt and pepper
      • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
      • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
      • 1 cup long-grain white rice
      • 1 onion, chopped
      • 4 1/2 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
      • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
      • 1. Combine olive brine, 3 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon oregano, half of garlic, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in zipper-lock bag. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place in bag. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, turning occasionally.
      • 2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to plate. While chicken is cooking, microwave 1¼ cups broth and rice in covered large bowl until liquid is absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
      • 3. Add remaining 1½ teaspoons oil and onion to now-empty skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons oregano and remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining ¾ cup broth and parcooked rice and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until meat registers 160 degrees and rice is tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
      • 4. Off heat, stir olives, tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons parsley into rice. Cover and let sit until chicken is ready. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, remaining 1 teaspoon oregano, and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest in bowl. Slice chicken into ½-inch slices, arrange on top of rice, and sprinkle with herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

      Introducing Gremolata

      A classic Italian garnish for osso buco (braised veal shanks), gremolata is made from minced parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. We adapted the idea, sprinkling our Lemony Mediterranean Chicken and Rice with parsley, lemon zest, and oregano for fresh, bright flavor.
      • Small Package, Big Wallop
        Herbs + lemon zest = flavor.
      Family consensus: thumbs up.  These recipes are kind of complicated and time consuming though.  I kind of like the quick 30 – 45 minutes cooking time.  But, I do really like the Gremolata – I just think that it sounds cool and tastes yummy too.  I bet it would taste yummy mixed with couscous or with a little garlic, added to Greek yogurt for a yummy dip.
      Over the weekend Mike made the Black and White cookies that are on the cover of Cook’s Country.  I must warn you and add:  DANGER! DANGER!  These cookies are REALLY good.  Each cookie is about the size of a coaster and they are not low fat.  But I have been exercising each day and eating like an angel the rest of the day so I could enjoy a cookie each day, til they are allllll gone.  Mike is helping me of course.  But that is how yummy they are – it is worth the extra discipline!
      On to Photo A Day.  I found out (and had heard about it from friends) about this photo a day thing. 
      I haven’t posted for a bit but I did take the photos:
      Monday 2/13/12– Blue
      The most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen.
      Tuesday 2/14/12– Heart
      From a Young Women activity.
      Wednesday 2/15/12 – New
      Some fabulous, make me dream of spring/summer shoes I just got in the mail.
      Hopefully I can keep it up.

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