We’ve restarted the Sunday dinner tradition here at the My Foodie Duty Test Kitchen for two reasons, we have ten 4″ binders filled with recipes we’ve collected from various magazines over a span of twelve years, tons of cookbooks that have been purchased, inherited and gifted, and of course endless resources on the internet. The other reason…global pandemic really puts life into perspective for you. Family and time around the table have once again become the norm for so many of us who were always on the go.
Every Wednesday we pick a binder and decide on a recipe for Sunday, last week’s winner was a recipe from an April 2013 issue of Every Day with Rachel Ray. The recipe was for Greek Green Beans, obviously not a main course so we foraged around the internet for a recipe for the chicken thighs we had in the freezer. We came across another Foodie’s recipe for a Greek Chicken marinade. The site is called FoodieCrush and the recipe is called The Best Greek Chicken Marinade. We have to say that while you are making the marinade you might just want to roll around in it, it smells delightful!
We didn’t stop there, we thought let’s go all out and take our tastebuds on a trip to Greece. We found a recipe for Easy Tzatziki Sauce by Claire Robinson on Food Network. We prepped our shopping list and couldn’t wait until the weekend! Just a warning this is going to be a long one, there are three recipes in here, we will split up each recipe so they are easier to get to. We’ve also added the ingredients lists to ingredient photos near the beginning of a recipe.
On Saturday evening we made the marinade so the chicken could sit in it overnight. Now on FoodieCrush’s site she talks about why each ingredient is used and has the nutritional information and all that. We are just going to get into the steps and how easy/hard it was. Besides giving credit where credit is due, another reason we like to provide links is we want you to be able to see the original posts, recipes, pics, and everything else. Plus plagiarism is illegal! That was our second PSA now back to food.
FOR THE MARINADE & GRILLED CHICKEN
The marinade is super easy to make, the original recipe called for boneless skinless chicken breasts, we opted for bone-in chicken thighs. We like the way the skin crisps on the grill. You can marinate for as little as 30 minutes or up to two-days as we have done before. This marinade smells amazing, tastes amazing and can even be used as a sauce to put on the chicken after grilling…we did it! You’ll need chicken obviously the cut and amount is up to you and your family size. The recipe is made for 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, we used 4 bone-in chicken thighs and had plenty. The recipe does call for putting aside 1/2 for basting during grilling. This just started becoming messy on our outdoor gas grill so we stopped and decided that we should/could use it as a sauce on the chicken. The recipe also says to grill lemon slices, we did but not very well as we were concerned with the chicken basting mess and also grilling pita bread at the same time but we will get to that.
You’ll also need 1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 4 medium lemons, 4-5 garlic cloves minced, 2 TBS of dried oregano, 1 tsp of Kosher Salt, and 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper. I’ll list the all these in the recipe too. Basically, you add all the ingredients into a bowl and stir. Then you reserve half for basting while cooking. You can either marinate in a bowl (cover before placing in the refrigerator) like we did or a freezer bag.
GRILLED GREEK CHICKEN RECIPE
If you’ll be grilling with a charcoal grill now is a great time to light those babies up…assuming you’re only marinating for 30 minutes! Gas grillers, you can light up when you are ready to cook. (If you are baking preheat your oven to 400°)
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs with skin (or chicken of choice)
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (we used one full single serve container, pictured above)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (we used extra virgin)
- 4 medium lemons (you will be using the zest and juice from 1, the rest are for slicing and grilling)
- 4-5 garlic cloves minced (we used 6…they were small…okay we LOVE garlic)
- 2 TBS dried oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
You’re going to need a zester, a medium bowl, a smaller bowl, a knife, measuring tools, and if you use it a juicing apparatus of some sort. Oh, and plastic wrap and/or freezer bags. You will need to cover the chicken and store the sliced lemons unless you save cutting them until the end, we did not. Our directions are slightly different from the original recipe. Also we marinated overnight!
- In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and olive oil
- Zest one medium lemon over the bowl (it’s easier that way)
- Juice that same lemon and pour the juice into the bowl
- slice the other 3 lemons into rounds, place them into a freezer bag
- Mince the garlic and add it to the bowl
- Add the oregano, kosher salt, and pepper to the bowl
- Stir with a spoon until mixed well
- Depending on the amount of chicken you have pour about 1/4 to 1/3 of the marinade into the smaller bowl and save for basting or as a finishing sauce
- Take the chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel, then place each piece in the medium bowl with the marinade
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to two days
- Before grilling, prep the grill by lightly oiling the grate with vegetable oil or cooking spray (I shouldn’t have to say this, DO NOT do this while the grill is lit!)
- Start grilling skin side down to create a nice crisp!
- Turn about 10-15 minutes in and add some sauce to the top
- Cook another 10-15 minutes
- Add lemons & Pita Bread to grill
- Chicken is ready when juices run clear
Cooking times are based on our grill, you should be familiar with your grill’s heat.
- If cooking in the oven spray a sheet pan with cooking spray or lightly oil with vegetable oil.
- We usually bake chicken thighs for about 30 minutes, they don’t get dry like chicken breasts, about 15 minutes in add some of the reserved marinade to the chicken.
- Add the lemons during the last 15 minutes of cooking
We made Greek Green beans which was the actual recipe of the week and who know why we became so ambitious last week…we even made Tomahawk Steaks last week, we really need to get out more. We’re just going to jump right into the recipes since we already explained what we made then we will talk about what horrors we faced. One such horror is that our grill gets angry at any oil, fat, sauce, or juice and flares up in protest as you can see above. I’m sure every grill does this…right?
GREEK GREEN BEANS RECIPE
- 12 ounces green beans
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (we used colored ones!)
- 8 kalamata olives, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
We prepped most of the ingredients and put them in sectioned Tupperware® so that we could just add the contents to the skillet when needed.
- In a large pan of boiling water, cook green beans 4-5 minutes
- Drain green beans set aside
- In a large skillet heat extra virgin olive oil on medium heat
- Add tomatoes, olives, garlic and rosemary to skillet
- Cook for 3 minutes
- Toss with beans (we didn’t know if this meant in the skillet so we did this and made a mess and our tomatoes got a little mushy, we transferred to a large metal bowl it worked better)
- Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese
Now we move on to the Tzatziki Sauce perhaps one of the most delicious and pain in the ass sauces to make ever! At least of you don’t have the right tools. The recipe said easy, this wasn’t easy, I personally consider myself to be a patient person. Until I made Tzatziki. I mean I’m going to do it again because it is so DAMN good but before I do I am definitely going to buy a box grater. YOU NEED A BOX GRATER! I cannot stress that enough.
Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 1 English Cucumber; seeded, drained, and grated
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (we used 2 single serve containers)
- 1 tsp lemon juice (we used 1/2 a medium lemon)
- 1 tsp lemon zest (we used a whole medium lemon)
- 2 garlic cloves minced (we used 4 and it was REALLY garlicky)
- 2 TBS chopped fresh dill
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 TBS coarsely chopped fresh mint (optional)
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil (optional)
So the instructions are basically, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator. What they don’t tell you is how to seed, drain, and grate a cucumber.
- Wash the cucumber
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise with a sharp knife
- Glide a spoon down the cucumber to remove the seeds (you have to be careful here to remove seeds and not cucumber)
- Using a box grater, grate the cucumber into a bowl or a mesh strainer
- Press the liquids out of the cucumber
- Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes for any excess liquids to be drained
Here’s where the box grater would have been useful, we only had a hand grater which doubles as our zester. It’s about 2 inches wide and was a pain in the ass for this project. It kept removing the skin from the cucumber and making a huge mess, we are not kidding when we say that cucumber was flying all over the kitchen. Then draining the cucumber, you have to sprinkle it with salt and wait…we were probably just mad at the cucumber at this point.
Moral of last week’s Sunday Dinner tale is have the proper tools when embarking on any culinary journey. Guess what’s in my Williams Sonoma® cart right now…a box grater!
The whole meal actually came out amazing, we might have been just a little over ambitious. We would consider this a My Foodie Duty Test Kitchen win and give the recipes huge thumbs up! We’re really excited to share our Sunday Dinners with you, this week’s Sunday Dinner is another one from Every Day with Rachel Ray stay tuned!
Until next time, happy eating!
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