Saturday, March 1, 2008

CHICKEN IS AN EMPTY CANVAS

I get so excited when I pull out chicken from my freezer. I think there are so many possibilities, what will I choose. I tell my friends who definitely are not foodies this and they think I am crazy. They are thinking oh what will I make today with a decidedly different tone.




I decided to use some mint that I just bought from the Asian store we have here locally. I have gone in this store a million times and have just found the fresh herb section. Its a big warehouse of a store so it isnt exactly laid out for marketing. I decided to go Greek.




I was inspired by familystylefood's website Meditteranean Barley. Wow, what an outstanding recipe. I did not have eggplants or cherry tomatoes available. I substituted sun dried tomatoes and roasted acorn squash. I also found that I needed to add a lot more liquid to my barley. As a finishing touch I sprinkled some pine nuts on top.

Greek Style Chicken Marinade

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped mint, aka chiffonade
4 cloves garlic. minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon oregano

Make little slices in the chicken to allow marinade to penetrate. Marinate from 1 hour to 24 hours in advance.

Mediterranean Barley Salad (see original post on Epicurious or familystylefood)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 c red onion, soaked in cold water for ten minutes
1/2 cup fresh mint, chiffonade
2 oz feta cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 acorn squash, diced and roasted
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 1/4 cup pearl barley
4 cups plus broth and or water
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy bottom pot. Toast barley until fragrant three to five minutes. Add spices and heat until fragrant, about one more minute. Add 4 cups broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Check periodically to see if it needs more water.

While barley is cooking roast vegetables and chop remaining ingredients. Combine reserved olive oil, lemon juice, chopped mint, pepper, sugar, garlic and red onion.

Finally, add four cups of the cooked barley to the mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

The amazingly great thing about this recipe is that you can add so many things.

Thank you to familystylefood for getting me into pearl barley. I had mainly used it for soup but now I have a new venue.

3 comments:

Maryann said...

I like this marinade! Simple and delicious chicken :)

Tracy said...

Nice to find another Rochester blogger! I love barley.

Shelly said...

Yum! I can't wait to try the barley salad...summer-lunch-yum.

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