Thursday, April 29, 2010

Greek style chicken legs

Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines are among my favorites, right behind Mexican. There are a lot of similarities in the foods of Greece, Iran, Israel, Iraq, and the rest of the Mideast. The things I like best include hummus, tabbouleh, pita, gyros, and shish tawook.

If you're not familiar with shish tawook, find a good Middle Eastern restaurant and fix that. It's delicious- chunks of marinated and grilled chicken shmeared with a thick garlicky paste, usually served over rice or in a pita. You definitely won't be getting kissed for about two days after you eat it, but it's SO worth the breath. (Seriously- garlic will come not only from your mouth, but from your stomach and from your pores.)

Greek flavors are easily accomplished without a recipe. One of my favorites is a simple combo of garlic, oregano, and olive oil. I made some grilled chicken legs recently with these- just sprinkle the legs with garlic granules, dried oregano, kosher salt, and fresh pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Refrigerate for at least an hour before grilling.

I often use garlic granules when grilling chicken or beef. It won't burn like fresh garlic will, and the taste stays a truer raw garlic flavor instead of the sweeter taste of cooked, which is not my favorite.

To accompany the chicken legs, I steam-microwaved a mixture of fresh veggies- bell pepper, onion, broccoli, asparagus, snap peas, and mushrooms. The trick to doing this is to microwave in stages. Tougher veggies like the broccoli and onions go in first; tender types like the bell pepper and mushrooms go in afterward so they don't overcook. My fancy microwave has a "Fresh Vegetables" button that makes it simple. You choose 1-3 cups and the timing is usually perfect.

I also made some white rice with slivered white onion added in at the last minute of cooking to keep a crisp, fresh oniony flavor that works well with the grilled chicken.

All in all, this is a quick, easy dinner that's full of flavor but not full of fat.

No comments: