Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Greek Chicken and Golden Greek Quinoa

There is a short list of things I love in this world.
1.  Animals
2. Craft Beer
3. Garlic

If I had to expand the list Talia, Meghan, Santino, Brutus, Chris, Mom, Dad and Peachie O's would be on the list too.   Sorry guys,  but if I am keeping it real Peachie O's would be at the top of the list.  I can't buy them though, I'll eat an entire 2lb bag and throw it up.  No because I eat and throw my food up, but because I think eating 2lbs of sugarie peachie o's causes your body to convulse and purge.

 But none the less,  I love Garlic (that's how I started this blog right?)  All kinds of Garlic--roasted, marinated, whole, etc.  I have become obsessed with this quinoa.    I have to say I stole part of this recipe from Lisa Curl,  when she took the quinoa I made and transformed it with garlic chunks.  My whole life I've been mincing garlic.  This recipe allows you to cut garlic in half and just throw it in.  You can make any kind of quinoa variation of this,  as long as you start with butter and garlic.  This specific golden quinoa is Greek, to pair well with this chicken.

At work Tuesday night I was discussing with some people that instead of making a salad on my own I'd be willing to pay 15 dollars for someone else to make it.  I hate getting all the ingredients together and chopping.  It's not for me.  Pat's Pizzeria makes a mean Pat's Cup Salad and every diner this side of the Mason Dixon line makes a fabulous Greek Salad.  This meal is inspired by he classic diner Greek Salad.

Greek Chicken and Golden Greek Quinoa
Prep: 20 minutes, 3 hour marinating
Cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Chicken:
1 lb chicken breast, cut into chunks
1/2 tbsp Oregano
1/2 tbsp Thyme
1/2 tbsp Parsley
1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
Pinch of salt
2 tsp oil, divided

Ingredients for the Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
6 garlic cloves,  peeled and cut in half with the ends removed
2 tbsp butter pads, divided
1/4 cup, or about 8 pitted Kalamata olives cut in half
Spray Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Feta cheese for serving
Lemon for Garnish

1.  First clean and cut your chicken into chunks.
2. Place into a ziplock bag.  Place all herb ingredients into the bag with the chicken and add 1 tsp of olive oil.  
3. Seal the bag and shake well mixing the chicken around.
4. Place the bag into the fridge and marinate for 3 hours or over night.
5.  About a half hour before you plan to serve the chicken cook the Quinoa according to the package directions.
6.  Once the quinoa is done, move into a a separate bowl.
5.  Using the same pot you cooked the quinoa in turn the heat to medium high and melt 1 tbsp of butter.
6.  Throw in the garlic and stir frequently, to keep it from burning.
7.  Throw in the Kalamata olives and continue to mix.
8. Once the garlic and olives have mixed well together and softened, about 3-4 minutes, put the quinoa back into the pot.   
9.  Melt the remaining butter into the quinoa and Greek mixture, allowing the quinoa to get golden brown as it continues to cook.  Remember to keep stirring so that it does not burn, but turns a golden brown color.  This could take about 10 minutes.  Time intensive, but well worth it!  When done,  remove from heat and put  a lid on the quinoa to keep it warm.  This quinoa is best served warm, not hot as hell.
10.  For the chicken,  spray olive oil or coconut oil in a cast iron skillet and heat over medium high heat.
11.  Allow the pan to heat for about 5-7 minutes until searing hot.
12.  Throw the chicken in, and do not move it.  Allow it to get brown each side,  about 5-7 minutes.  The less you move it the more it will have that seared crunchy seared crust that we love about diner chicken.  Add the remaining tsp of olive if needed,  to loosen the chicken up.
13. Serve four ounces of chicken, with 1/2 cup of quinoa.  Garnish quinoa with lemon and sprinkle with feta cheese.