Greek Dinner

Greek Dinner

This can go on the table fast if you are organized.  Think lemons, lemons, and more lemons!  This menu consists of Avgolemono (egg-lemon) soup, hummous with pita bread, and greek salad with grilled chicken.

  • 4 lemons, 3 1/2 of them juiced, one half cut into thin slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, two of them minced
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can low sodium^ chick peas, drained liquid reserved
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz salad mix
  • ½ cucumber, cubed
  • 1 roma tomato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup calamata olives
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard.
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup orzo or other small pasta
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 pita breads (I used whole wheat)

To juice lemons, roll them on the counter using pressure with your palm.  Then microwave them for 45 minutes.  Cut in half and squeeze them with your hands or use a citrus reamer over a small bowl.  If the lemons have a lot of seeds squeeze them with your hand underneath them or over a strainer to catch the seeds. 

Put thighs in a zip-loc bag.  Mix juice of one lemon, 2 minced cloves of garlic, cinnamon, and ¼ cup olive oil, oregano, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Pour the marinade over the thighs, press out the air and zip up the bag. Massage the bag to distribute the marinade and set the chicken aside.

In a food processor, process drained chick peas, tahini, juice of one lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, remaining garlic clove. parsley, cayenne until smooth.  Add some of the chick pea liquid if the mixture is too thick.  Mixture should have the consistency of a thick dip.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Scrape into a serving bowl and set aside.

Combine salad mix, cucumber, tomato and olives. Portion them into four large salad bowls. In a separate small bowl, blend juice of one half lemon, the remaining olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.  Set salad dressing aside.

 Preheat broiler.  Line pan with foil and top with the rack.  Spray rack with nonstick spray.  Remove chicken from the bag and arrange on the rack.  Discard marinade.  Set rack under the broiler for 7 minutes.

While chicken is broiling, bring chicken broth to a boil in a pot.  Add orzo and cook orzo for five minutes.  Remember to turn the chicken over after 7 minutes, and broil another 7 minutes.  Beat eggs and remaining lemon juice in a large bowl.  When orzo has cooked for five minutes, turn off the heat under the soup.  Ladle one ladleful of soup into the egg mixture and whisk to incorporate soup.  Add another ladleful of hot soup to the mixture and mix again.  Add a third ladleful and mix.  Stir hot egg mixture into the soup and stir.  Mixture will thicken slightly.  Ladle soup into four small soup bowls.

Microwave pita breads for one minute and cut them into wedges.  Arrange them on a plate.

When chicken is done, remove it from the oven.  Pour salad dressing over salads and sprinkle them with feta cheese.  Top each salad with one or more pieces of grilled chicken. 

Float a thin lemon slice over each bowl of soup.

Serve soup and salad together, with pita and hummous on the side.  Makes 4 servings

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