I hesitated to share this, as it is hardly a “recipe”. But then I reminded myself, good food is all about the taste, not any amount of beautifully written prose that may be behind it! I cook meals like this all the time for me and Hungry Hubby, if not the whole family. They fall into that category of quick dinners where only one or two items are actually cooked and the rest is an assembly job. In my family we call them “picks” as each person can wander around the laden table and pick exactly what and how much they’d like to eat. My Greek Chicken Dinner is definitely one of those meals.
Now, this may not be a recognisable, authentic Greek dish but I use the flavours I associate with that corner of the Mediterranean and which summon up warm memories of a wonderful holiday spent in Corfu with my best friend and our hubbies. I have however recently bought a couple of Greek cookbooks to fill in the gaps in my knowledge about their food. What I do is marinate some boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a very garlicky bath of olive oil (Greek, naturally!), dill, parsley and oregano. I sometimes add red chilli flakes, sometimes not. They are then griddled on high, high heat to replicate the charcoal grills that would be used for Greek kebabs, or, souvlaki. The char makes all the difference so don’t be shy with the heat!
The little bits and pieces I serve with these chicken thighs vary depending largely upon what we have in but there must always be some freshly baked bread to stuff the chicken and salad bits into. Homemade pitta are like so many bread products in that they are superior in taste and texture to anything you can buy in. They really aren’t hard to make and I’ll be sharing my recipe with you really soon.
A Greek salad is logical as an accompaniment to griddled meat but the thing which Hungry Hubby and I fight over is this fava bean dip. I first had it at The Real Greek in London with my friends Regan and Shazza, then subsequently took Hungry Hubby, mostly to try that dip! It’s a labour of love but make it the day before and you’re laughing (also, reduce the olive oil to a third at most; you don’t need anywhere near a cup of oil for that amount of beans!). A green salad (as Greek salad has no lettuce in), some crumbled feta, maybe some extra thick strained Greek yogurt and of course tzatziki by the bucketload and you’ve got a greed-evoking delicious dinner with really very little effort. It’s all about the food in this Greek Chicken Dinner – let the ingredients shine and take a break from cooking, especially now the summer is well and truly here x
A simple way to cook chicken thighs with the flavours of summer holidays. Serving suggestions in the notes for your own Greek-inspired mezze.
- 1 tbsp Greek olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried dill (or 1 tbsp fresh)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes (totally optional)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 500 g skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets
Start by mixing all the ingredients together and rubbing it well into the chicken. Allow to marinade for at least 10 minutes, up to one hour in the fridge. If marinading overnight, leave the lemon juice out until 10 minutes before you want to cook the chicken.
Preheat a griddle pan on high heat. Lay each chicken thigh out flat on the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes without moving it. Flip over and do the other side. Check to see the chicken is cooked all the way through (it should reach 75˚C in the thickest part and be opaque/white when cut into). If not, cook for a few more minutes.
Pile onto a plate and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
Serve with freshly toasted pitta, tzatziki, Greek salad, hummus, fava bean dip or crumbled feta as liked. And oh - a bottle of sriracha if I'm eating with you ;)
- Make your own tzatziki by grating half a cucumber into a cling tea towel and wringing it out to remove most of the moist. Mix into 100g of very thick, strained Greek yogurt along with 1 clove of garlic, minced, 1 tsp dried dill, a fat pinch of salt and 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped.
- Greek salad - steep a small red onion which has been finely sliced in 1 tbsp red wine or cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp dried oregano and 1 tbsp Greek olive oil. Chop a couple of plump and ripe tomatoes, half a cucumber and crumble half a block of feta. Mix everything, including the juices from the onion together and stir in a handful of your favourite olives.
- Check out my hummus recipes here. Or strain some Greek yogurt for an hour in the fridge (in a kitchen roll sieve suspended over a bowl) then drizzle with a little of olive oil. Or crumble some extra feta and again, drizzle with your best Greek olive oil.
- Freshly toasted and split pittas to stuff your chicken and preferred selection of salads and sides as above!
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