Friday, February 26, 2016

The Brainy Gourmet's Mediterranean Chicken

Who wouldn't want to be lying on the beach (or rocks) in the Mediterranean this time of year.  Mediterranean cooking is full of flavor, kalamata olives, tomatoes, garlic... Ahh!

Did you know that Mediterranean is not just for Italians. Many countries have a border with that sea. There is a delicious menu on every coast. For our purposes regarding this dish, let's look at Greece as this was the cradle of great artists and philosophers, and the place of origin of the greatest food trilogy: bread, oil and wine, which are the base of the basic Mediterranean cuisine. For the Greek, if you had those items, you are not only well fed but well off.

The Greeks discovered the oil and used it as a condiment, but also as a body balm and as a fuel for lighting. Their wine, which they mixed with water, resin or with herbs, was famous throughout the Mediterranean. The bread, for the Greeks, was the staple food and they created as many as 72 varieties.

There are many alarming articles telling us that olive oil is not so good. My advice, you should buy the best quality you possibly can.  There are modest health benefits are associated with consuming olive oil which are largely due to the beneficial plant chemicals, such as polyphenols and plant sterols, found in the extra virgin olive oils.

For this dish, you will need to use olive oil and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. To get started, generously coat a covered skillet, add dried herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and a pinch of salt 1/4 tsp. Chop one whole onion and toss into the skillet on med. heat. While the onion browns, dice three young zucchini and add them to the skillet as well. Saute your onion and zucchini until transparent and browned on the edges.

Next, lay in your chicken breast strips. Cover and cook for 5 min. on high heat, stirring occasionally. Then add one medium can of roasted diced tomatoes and two handfuls of dark Greek kalamata olives. Cover and simmer for 10 min. on low heat. In this time, boil water with salt to cook your pasta, I recommend either linguine or penne.

~Tutti a Tavola!

... and don't forget the wine and bread

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