Sunday, May 9, 2010

Laura's Greek Chicken Bake

It's a busy time of year at mi casa: we've got the school play, dance recital, lacross games, the invention convention, the arts festival and final exams on the agenda. Healthy meals and snacks are absolutely in order to keep everyone happy and energized, but most days, there's not a whole lot of time to shop and cook.

Yesterday afternoon I needed to whip up something that wasn't too heavy but would keep our stomachs from grumbling during DD's dance recital. I turned to my pantry and fridge, and then to my friend and fellow personal chef Laura Whalen's recipe for Greek Chicken. I served it with Spinach Orzo.

Laura's Greek Chicken Bake
Serves 3

1 package fresh chicken tenders (about 1 pound)
Penzey's Greek Seasoning, or salt and pepper
1 T. olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
15-ounce can diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano
4 ounces sliced black olives (or kalamata olives or 2 T. capers)
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
fresh parsley for garnish

Season the chicken lightly with Greek Seasoning or salt and pepper. Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides (about 1 - 2 minutes per side); chicken will not be fully cooked. Remove chicken from pan and place in a greased casserole dish.

Turn down the heat and add the chopped shallot, garlic and jalapeno to the same pan and saute until the vegetables start getting soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and olives to the sauce. Stir and pour over the chicken in the casserole dish. Top with feta cheese.

Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and dish is bubbly around the edges. Garnish with parsely.

Spinach Orzo
Serves 3

Place a couple of handfuls of baby spinach in a colander in the sink. Cook 1 cup of orzo according to package directions. Drain the orzo over the spinach, to wilt the spinach. Season with butter, salt and pepper if desired. Toss and serve.

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