Thursday, September 25, 2014

Easy Weekend Mediterranean Chicken

I have had a really busy few days. My BFF, Martha, came to visit on Sunday and we had the added bonus surprise do my BSI, Peggy decide to come and visit also on the spur of the moment. I had gone to the grocery store early after putting the Lemony Delight Bundt cake in the oven to pick up some chicken and small potatoes to make a huge pan of Mediterranean Chicken and Veggies. I wanted to prep everything and have it ready to just pop in the oven so I could spend time with my guests. Pathmark had the big tray of boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale as well as a gorgeous head of fresh cauliflower and the potatoes And green beans I needed.

I ended up using my largest turkey roster pan to prepare the dish. I washed the chicken breasts, trimmed off any excess fat(there wasn't much) and patted them dry. They were so huge, I cut them in half crosswise so they would cook more evenly in the pan. Into the pan I added, EVOO, the juice and zest of 3 large lemons, 1 tsp salt, 40 grinds of fresh peppercorns, some Italian seasonings(dried), and one large clove of elephant garlic which was coastline chopped.

I also raided my dwindling herb garden for some fresh basil and rosemary along with a touch of parley. I washed these and chopped the parsley and basil and added along with the rosemary leaves to the mix. Tossed in the cut up chicken, the scrubbed and quartered red potatoes (skin on) and the washed and chopped cauliflower florets. I vigorously tossed all of ingredients in the pan to coat and then arranged the chicken along one side and the veggies on the other. If you Re wondering about the green beans, I like mine crisp, so I opted to steam those separately just before serving the meal. For a quick alternative, you can,is them right into the bug pan and roast along with the meal.

I covered the pan with foil and placed into the fridge for 6 hours to allow it to mArinate and the flavors to meld. My kitchen and fridge smelled heavenly with the garlic and rosemary all day.

Martha and I along with my dogs, spent the entire day outside sewing! It was the perfect September day, warm, sunny with a cool breeze that kept the bugs away. It was a lovely visit and the pups enjoyed being out ALL DAY!

Around 4 p.m., I lit the oven to 350 degrees and popped the big foil covered roaster into the oven. set the time for 50 minutes and let it work its magic. Mike was hime by then and Peggy was due to arrive just in time for dinner. when the timer pinged and told me dinner was almost done, I pulled the pan out, removed the foil, checked the meat to make sure it was cooked properly. I put the oan back I. The oven for 10 minutes while I prepped the beans and steamed them in the microwave for 5 minutes. everyone pitched in to set the outdoor table quickly and efficiently. The dogs knew dinner was about to be served And miraciously stayed out from under our feet. P

Just as I was taking the roasting pan out of the oven 10 minutes later, Peggy showed up and we sat down to the gorgeous meal. I had purchased an fresh baked loaf of Olive bread at the store that morning, which was sliced up and served with fresh butter. perfect for sopping up any juices from the main dish.

The chicken was delightfully juicy, tender, flavorful and plump! The red potatoes were perfectly roasted and dripping in pan juices and fresh herbs. The roasted cauliflower was sweet and tender, almost melted in your mouth. It was a wonderful meal and perfect ending to a fantastic day.

We enjoyed the lemon cake and coffee afterwards, just as the sun was disappearing behind the horizon. we came inside to relax afterwards and around 8 p.m., Peggy looked at me and pointed out to me that it was like we didn't even own any pets because they were passed out solid on their beds. They were exhausted from being active and outside the entire day, having missed their afternoon naps.

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