A Chicken’s Tour of the Mediterranean

A Chicken Thighs Recipe With Mediterranean Flavor

FEB. 27, 2015 | City Kitchen | By

A good cook needs an assortment of chicken recipes up his or her sleeve. It’s fair to say that most carnivores like chicken, but even chicken fans prefer a bit of variety, a break from the familiar roasted, fried, grilled.

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Braising chicken is a technique to master. The simple process of browning the meat, then adding liquid and gently simmering, ensures tenderness and succulence.

Most people I know agree that the thigh is the choicest part of the bird under most circumstances. I find that chicken thighs make the best braises, and I recommend using skin-on bone-in thighs for the best flavor. (In these days of skinless boneless everything and fear of fat, these unadulterated thighs are scarcer than before, but persevere; they can be found.)

One of the best chicken braises I know uses a broadly Mediterranean approach. The classic combination of chicken with lemon and olives is found throughout the region, but a minor tweaking of the basic recipe is all it takes to give this braise a regional accent.

The example given here is Italianate: rosemary, garlic, fennel seed and red pepper. Marinate the thighs, surround them with lemon wedges, and brown them in the oven. Add a handful of green and black olives and a ladleful of chicken broth. Simmer a bit. The result: earthy, herbaceous, lemony. Serve with polenta.

To give the same dish a more Provençal profile, use thyme sprigs rather than rosemary and choose oil-cured black or tiny niçoise olives. Serve with potatoes or egg noodles. For a North African feel, use large green olives and add toasted ground cumin seeds and hot paprika. Serve with flatbread or couscous.

As for lemons, any kind may be used. Meyer lemo

ns are nice, since they are sweeter than others and the soft skin is mild enough to eat. But ordinary Eureka lemons are fine, thinly sliced, as are rinsed salt-preserved lemons cut in small cubes.

Of course, you should try to get the best chicken you can. Choose organic, free-range, heritage birds when possible. Even at $4 a pound, that’s far less expensive than other prime cuts of meat, and you are more likely to get flavorful chicken if it is of noble provenance. Free-range birds generally have firmer muscles than cheaper “factory style” birds. If you have tasted chicken in other countries, you know that firm meat and flavor go hand in hand.

Once you are hooked on the chicken-lemon-olive theme, you’ll find many more ways to practice it. Imagine, for instance, a chicken sandwich smeared with a garlicky chopped olive tapenade and a dab of bright lemony mayonnaise. You get the idea.

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/04/dining/a-chicken-thighs-recipe-with-mediterranean-flavor.html?_r=0)

Chicken Skewers with Green Olives

Chicken Skewers
750g chicken thigh fillets | 2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped | 2 tbsp olive oil | 2 tbsp lemon juice, strained | 3 cloves garlic, crushed | 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest | 24 bamboo skewers, soaked | lemon wedges, to serve | Green Olive Dressing | ½ cup pitted green olives | 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves | ⅓ cup olive oil
  1. Cut each thigh fillet into 6 long strips. Combine with oregano, oil, juice, garlic and zest in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours.
  3. Coarsely chop 4 olives and set aside. Blend or process remaining ingredients until almost smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and top with chopped olives.
  4. Thread 1 strip of chicken onto each skewer. Cook chicken, in batches, on a heated, oiled grill plate (or grill or barbecue) for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through.
  5. Serve chicken skewers with dressing and lemon wedges.

(Source: http://www.womansday.com.au)

Cut, it’s a wrap

A little of Greece in your dish 

BY ,  FEBRUARY 1, 2015

I think we can all agree the grilled chicken here isn’t exactly the hallmark of Tufts Dining. Always more dry than moist, eating it by itself is about as fulfilling as a limp handshake. Yet, it’s weaseled its way in as the central ingredient of today’s alternative dining hall recipe. I’m gonna pull an Aladdin here and just ask you to trust me. Behold, the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap:

chicken olivesLay a 10-inch wrap (a tortilla will do in a pinch) across your plate.
Spread about a scoop’s worth of hummus (of any kind) in a line across the wrap, leaving an inch or so of space at the bottom to fold over later.
Put three or four slices of cucumber on top of the hummus.
Place two slices of tomato on top of the cucumbers. (Alternatively, you can add a handful of cherry tomatoes sliced length-wise – they tend to taste better.)
Put your preferred type of greens (I recommend the spring mix) over the tomato.
If you’re in Carm, throw a few kalamata olives over your greens. If you’re in Dewick, black olives will do, though it pains me to suggest it. (At risk of being parenthetically cumbersome, a quick lesson on the difference between the two: Black olives are picked when they’re green and subsequently soaked in ferrous sulfate/gluconate, which turns them black and leaves them tasting more or less like nothing. Kalamata olives come from the Peloponnese region of Greece, can’t be picked when green, and actually taste good/like an olive.)
Sprinkle some feta cheese over it all.
Top with the Greek salad dressing.
Snag a grilled chicken breast. Back at your table, or somewhere where you’re not in everyone’s way, cut the chicken into small chunks and toss them onto the wrap.
A touch of salt could do nicely.
Fold the bottom of the wrap to where it meets the fillings. Then, tightly fold over one of the sides. Roll it up the rest of the way. It should feel firm and compact in your hand, and the food inside shouldn’t be able to move around too much.
Take a bite. Close your eyes. Pretend you’re in Crete.
If you liked it, stay tuned for next week’s devious concoction. Finally, if you ever want to try one of these recipes, but don’t want to/don’t have the confidence to make it yourself, I’ll happily make you one in exchange for being swiped in. Cheers!

P.S. If any dining staff were offended by my judgments on the grilled chicken, please accept my most sincere apologies. It’s inherently the grilled chicken’s fault, not yours. You guys are great.

(Source: http://tuftsdaily.com/archives/2015/02/01/cut-wrap/)

Go with grapes

Moroccan-spiced chicken and grapes (Serves 4-6)

24272877372 onions, halved and sliced
4 large carrots, peeled, halved and sliced
60ml olive oil
1 kg chicken thighs and legs
45ml Moroccan rub
5ml salt
500g black grapes
200g green olives, pitted

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine the onions and carrots with 30ml olive oil in a bowl and toss well. Arrange in an oven pan.
In a separate bowl, pour the remaining oil over the chicken. Rub the Moroccan rub and salt all over the chicken then place on top of the carrots and onions.
Roast for 30 minutes, stirring half way.
Remove and add the grapes and olives. Roast for a further 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

(Source: http://www.iol.co.za)

Easy dinner recipes: Chicken three ways in an hour or less

When you’re looking for easy dinner ideas, you can’t go wrong with chicken. It pairs well with almost any flavorings and can be cooked in so many ways. These great ideas come together in an hour or less:

Chicken and orzo with lemon and olives: This dish is one-pot perfection. Chicken drumsticks cook with a simple medley of orzo pasta, lemon wedges, olives, oregano, garlic and bay leaves in a richly flavored dish that comes together in only 45 minutes.


Cayenne Cafe chicken with pomegranate-walnut sauce: A great way to showcase fresh pomegranates in season, this simple grilled chicken dish highlights the fruit in a rich garlic-walnut sauce that plays the tartness of the pomegranate against the sweetness of dark brown sugar.

Roast chicken with fried artichokes and lemons: Tender roast chicken is served with crisp fried artichoke and lemon “chips.” The whole meal comes together in only an hour. You can find the recipe below.

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Braised chicken with olives and pine nuts

Chicken joints braised in white wine, with a lively garlic and orange-zest finish

This is Sicilian inspired and can be sweet-sour (in which case add the raisins) or simply savoury (in which case leave them out). Apart from a quick browning on the stove top, this dish really looks after itself. (Serves 4)

Braised_chicken_wi_3098301b1½ tbsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs, or a chicken jointed into 8 pieces
3 medium red onions, peeled and cut into half-moon-shaped wedges about 1cm (½in) thick at the widest part
2 celery sticks, trimmed and diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 small dried chillis, crumbled
500g (1lb 2oz) baby waxy potatoes, halved
250ml (9fl oz) white wine
finely grated zest of ½ orange, plus juice of 1
75g (2¾oz) raisins, soaked in boiling water for half an hour, then drained (optional)
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
75g (2¾oz) green olives
30g (1oz) pine nuts, toasted

for the gremolata
2 garlic cloves
zest of 1 small orange, removed in strips (cut away any bitter white pith)
leaves from about 10 stems of mint, torn

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.Heat the olive oil in a wide oven-proof sauté pan or shallow casserole (large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer – or use two) and brown the chicken on both sides, seasoning as you go. You are just trying to get a good colour, not cook the chicken through. Remove the joints to a dish as they’re ready.

Pour off all but 1 tbsp of oil from the pan and add the onions. Cook over a medium heat to colour, then add the celery, cooking for two minutes before adding the garlic and chilli. Cook for a further minute, add the potatoes and toss them around, then add the wine, orange juice and zest, and the raisins (if using). Put the chicken back (plus any juices that have run out of it), skin-side up in a single layer. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Season well and transfer to the oven for 40 minutes.

Add the capers and olives 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stirring them in around the chicken joints. The cooking juices will have reduced, the potatoes should be tender and the chicken will be cooked through.

Meanwhile make the gremolata by chopping the garlic and orange zest finely, then mix with the mint. Toss this over the chicken with the toasted pine nuts just before serving. A big watercress salad is all you need on the side – everything else is in the pan.

(Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Chicken ballotine with 
olive & fig tapenade

serves 8 | prep 1 hour (+ 30 mins cooling & resting time) 
| cooking 1 hour 10 mins

7449_21 brown onion | 1 1⁄2 tbs extra virgin olive oil | 1⁄2 garlic clove, crushed | 1 bunch English spinach, 
stems removed, thinly sliced | 1 carrot, peeled, 
coarsely chopped | 2 x 1.8kg whole chickens, deboned, wings reserved | 1 1⁄2 tbs lemon juice | 185ml (3⁄4 cup) hot water
olive & fig tapenade | 90g (1⁄3 cup) Angas Park 
Soft & Juicy Figs | 80ml (1⁄3 cup) water | 80g (1⁄2 cup) pitted kalamata olives | 1 tsp baby capers | 1⁄2 garlic clove, chopped | 3 tsp lemon juice | 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan forced. For the tapenade, place the figs and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 6 minutes or until water is almost evaporated and figs are soft. 
Set aside for 10 minutes, to cool. Process the figs, olives, capers and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and oil. Process until combined. Season with pepper.
2. Finely chop half the onion. Thickly slice remaining onion. Set aside. Heat 2 tsp oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook garlic and chopped onion, stirring, for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the spinach. Season. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
3. Place the carrot, sliced onion and reserved chicken wings in 
a large roasting pan. Place the chickens, skin-side down, on 
a work surface. Spread each chicken with tapenade, leaving 
a 1cm border. Sprinkle with the spinach mixture. Roll up carefully to enclose. Tie with kitchen string at 3cm intervals to secure.
4. Place the chickens in tray. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining oil. Season. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour hot water into pan. Roast, basting halfway 
with pan juices, for 30-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a chopping board. Cover loosely with foil. Set aside for 10 minutes, to rest.
5. Pour the pan juices through 
a sieve into a jug. Discard solids. Skim fat from the surface. Thickly slice the chicken. Arrange on 
a platter. Drizzle with pan juices.

(Source: http://www.taste.com.au)