Sunday, June 19, 2011

Greek Chicken-An Experiment, Mostly Successful

I really like the moist, slightly teriyaki flavored chicken meat that I get from Simmered Chinese Chicken and have wondered for some time if I could use the same method to make a Greek flavored chicken.  My husband had to be gone yesterday, so I decided that was the day to give it a try.

First I put a Greek seasoning mix on the chicken and let it chill for a couple of hours.  Then I combined ingredients from several recipes to come up with the mixture to cook the chicken in.  When the chicken was done, I had a chicken with the moist chicken meat I had hoped for and a nicely flavored gravy/sauce.  The chicken didn't have quite as much flavor as I had hoped so next time I will rub the seasoning mix under the skin.

Recently I had made Smothered Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  (I had cooked some thin pork steaks in the oven using the ingredients in the recipe).  I decided to use a similar method for making the gravy/sauce for the chicken.

You can use Cavendar's Greek Seasoning or make your own.   I have seen the seasoning recipe I used a number of places on the internet, but Food for My Family has it with a Mediterranean Bean Salad and Chicken Gyros recipe so I will give credit to her.  The one variation I have seen in the seasoning mix is the addition of 1 t. instant beef bouillon.

Greek Seasoning
2 t. salt
2 t. dried oregano
1 1/2 t. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
1 t. cornstarch
1 t. pepper
1 t. dried parsley flakes
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. grated nutmeg

Mix together and store in a cool, dry place.

Greek Chicken
1 3 1/2-4  lb. whole fryer
2 t. olive oil
1 T. Greek seasoning (above) or Cavendar's
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c dry white wine
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 T Greek yogurt
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. marjoram
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. rosemary, crushed
1/2 t. basil
1 large clove garlic, minced
3/4 c. chopped onion

Remove giblets from chicken.  Rinse well and pat dry.  Lift chicken skin and rub 1/2 t. or so Greek seasoning over chicken breasts.  Brush chicken front with 1 t. olive oil and sprinkle with 1 t. Greek seasoning  Turn chicken over, brush with 1 t. olive oil and sprinkle with 1 t. Greek seasoning.  Place chicken in plastic bag or wrap in plastic and chill 2 hours or more.

Heat 1 T. olive oil in Dutch oven until hot.  Add chicken and brown well on both sides.  Remove from heat.  Add onion to Dutch oven.  Combine remaining ingredients and mix until yogurt is well blended.  Pour over chicken.  Heat until liquid boils, then turn heat down to maintain a simmer.  Cover and cook about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.  Remove chicken and keep warm.

Pour liquid in Dutch oven through a sieve to catch solids.  Set solids aside.  Pour liquid into gravy separator,  pour 1 cup or so into a blender container, stopping when fat gets to the bottom of spout.  You may have more liquid than will fit into the separator at one time.  If so, fill it in batches.  Pour remaining liquid into a 1-quart glass measuring cup.  Add reserved solids to blender container and blend until smooth.  Pour into the measuring cup.  Note amount of liquid in cup.  (I had about 2 1/2 cups.)  Pour liquid back into Dutch oven or a saucepan.  Add remaining Greek seasoning.  Mix together 1 T. cornstarch for each cup of liquid in pan with 1/3 to 1/2 c. water, blending well.  Add to liquid in Dutch oven.  Cook and stir over medium heat until sauce/gravy is desired thickness.  Serve with the chicken.
I tasted the chicken meat today after it was refrigerated overnight.  It is wonderfully moist with just a hint of additional flavor.  So next time I will put the Greek seasoning under the skin and add a bay leaf or two to the liquid the chicken is cooked in.  All-in-all, I am pretty happy with the results of my experiment.  It certainly is a long way from being a dish destined for the garbage.

Linking to Whisking Wednesdays.

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