Dad’s Easy Mediterranean Chicken

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My dad recently sent me this chicken recipe, which he says received rave-reviews from his dinner guests. Of course I had to try it, and I have to agree – this is one tasty dish! It is full of flavor . . . actually, I’ll let my dad describe it to you . . .

“This recipe offers an exotic blend of flavors, orchestrated by the turmeric, that will appeal to adults, but probably not children. It assumes a Dutch oven but will work just as well in a crock pot or other lidded vessel. In that case, do the initial sauteing in a frying pan and transfer to the final cook pot.”

I altered his recipe slightly to work with the ingredients on hand, but the essential ingredients and flavors are the same.

Ingredients
3/4 cup chopped onion
8 oz package mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2/3 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (or whole cherry tomatoes)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, cut into bite-size pieces (canned or marinated)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
Olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions and mushrooms in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1-2 minutes. Remove the contents from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the chicken thighs for about 2-3 minutes per side. Add salt and pepper as desired. Remove browned thighs from the pan if you need more room for the un-browned ones, and add more oil as needed.

Once all the thighs are brown, add them back to the pan along with onion and mushroom mixture and all other ingredients. Lightly stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil, and then reduce heat to simmer (uncovered).

My dad likes to simmer the mixture for 2-3 hours until the mixture has a meat sauce consistency with all the ingredients well ‘blended’. He also suggested serving it after 40-60 minutes of simmering, at which point the thighs will still be intact (which is what I did). Serve over rice.

Thanks for the recipe Dad!

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Grilled Garlic Artichokes

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It’s artichoke season and this recipe is an amazing way to prepare these prickly veggies. The artichokes are first steamed, then grilled and basted with a lemon, garlic, olive oil sauce that perfectly complements the artichokes. The flavor is amazing and the preparation is simple. The original recipe can be found here, but I’ve changed the preparation a bit to suit my tastes.

Ingredients
2 large artichokes
1/2 lemon
3/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

First prep your artichokes by pulling off the small leaves at the bottom, then use kitchen shears to snip off the pointy end of the leaves around the sides. Use a serrated knife to cut off the tips of the leaves on the top of the artichoke, cut off the stem, and then cut each artichoke in half. Cut out the fuzzy stuff above the artichoke heart using a sharp paring knife.

Steam the artichokes in a large pot with a steamer basket for about 20-30 minutes, or until just under-done (you could probably also use the microwave in a pinch).

While the artichokes are cooking, squeeze the juice of the lemon into a medium bowl, and then stir in the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Preheat the grill.

Brush the artichokes with the olive oil mixture and place them on the grill. Cook the artichokes for about 5 to 10 minutes, turning and basting frequently with the olive oil mixture. Remove the artichokes from the grill when the edges are charred and serve immediately.

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