Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Greek Chicken

Today was my time to feed a group of 12 women at work (a monthly luncheon)…I’m pretty new to the group so was nervous as to what to make. Will they like it? Did I make enough? Wonder how long it would take Jimmy John’s to get a bunch of sandwiches up to our conference room? ACK!

I decided on a Greek theme, and picked out recipes that I can serve cold or at room temperature! I found recipes from Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, Ina Garten, and Jamie Oliver. Used a marinade of Rachael’s for the grilled chicken. Giada’s Mediterranean salad, and a meld of Ina’s and Jamie’s Greek Salad. Throw in some pita bread and a lemon cake, from another group member, and we had an AWESOME lunch!

Start with the marinade:

1 large tub of Greek Yogurt
2 tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp ground Coriander
2 tsp dried Greek Oregano and Basil (I used my dried herbs from my garden)
1 package of frozen chicken breast tenders

Mix all together and put in large ziplock bag, stick in frig overnight. Either grill on the bbq, or put under the broiler, like I had to as it was raining out last night.

Next, Giada’s Mediterranean Salad:

3 Tbsp Olive Oil (plus about 1/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Israeli couscous
3 C chicken broth
2 lemons, juiced
1 lemon, zested
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 C chopped FRESH basil
1/2 C chopped FRESH mint
1/4 C craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 C toasted pine nuts (she says to use silvered almonds, toasted)

In a medium saucepan, warm 3 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add broth, and the juice of 1 lemon, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite. About 8 minutes. Drain the couscous.

In a large bowl, toss the couscous with about 1/8 C of olive oil, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper, pine nuts and craisins and let cool. Once couscous it at room temperature, add the fresh herbs. Toss to combine and serve. (I made this up the night before and took it out of the frig about an hour before serving).

Now for a blend of Ina’s and Jamie’s Greek Salad:
8 cups of halved grape tomatoes ( I used yellow and red)
1 med-lrg red onion, thinly sliced
1 english (seedless) cucumber, cut thickly
handful (1/4-1/2 cup) fresh mint, chopped
handful (1/4-1/2 cup) fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
12 Greek Kalamata olives, crushed by hand
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
8-10 TBSP Olive oil
1/4 C Garlic Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pepper
feta cheese, crumbled

Throw all ingredients together (except last five) in a large bowl. Put in frig until 1 hour before serving. Mixed olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together…pour over salad one hour before serving, toss well.   Sprinkle the top with dried oregano and basil.  Let everyone sprinkle feta over their salad…as much as they like!

A New Chicken Recipe to Try! Mushroom Stuffed Chicken in Puff Pastry.

Over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook they posted a Stuffed Chicken Recipe the other day…it looked deeeelish, so I made it last night. The recipe comes from that cutie-patootie chef, Jamie Oliver.

Stuffed Chicken with Mustard Wine Sauce

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 box puff pastry
2 cups mushrooms finely chopped (I ended up with about 3-4 Cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat parsley (I used my Italian Parsley from my garden)
1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic (HAHAHA! 5 cloves for me)
1/2 tsp salt
3 grinds of fresh pepper (used more than 3 grinds, we love pepper)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Thaw your pastry puff, if frozen.

In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes. Add freshly chopped parsley, salt and pepper, and continue to saute for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside and cool.

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Score Chicken breast with a knife making a pocket. Stuff all chicken breasts with mushroom mixture. (I added a slice of Olive Oil & Rosemary Rubbed Asiago cheese from Raleys that was on sale the other day…I had it and it sounded good to add, so I did!)

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Roll out each puff pastry sheet to about 18×8 and cut down the middle making a total of 4 pieces. Place one breast on each pastry and roll up.

Place the breasts onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

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Beat one egg and brush the outsides of each roll. Bake in 400F oven for 35-40 minutes.

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While your chicken is baking start making the mustard wine sauce in a small pan.

MUSTARD WINE SAUCE

2 heaping (very heaping) Tbsp of whole grain prepared mustard (I used Raley’s brand Spicy Mustard with Horseradish)
1-1/2 cups of white wine (patooey…I love red wine, I didn’t get to do the one for you one for me thing)
1/2 cup of cream

Combine the first two ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, allowing the wine to reduce by 1/4. Turn to simmer and add cream. Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

I didn’t allow my sauce to reduce, me thinks…as it was a bit runny. BUT IT WAS DELICIOUS!

We had the stuffed chicken, green beans sauteed in olive oil and garlic, and apple sauce.

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