There are some days I come home from work, itching to get into the kitchen and start a meal.
Today was not one of those days. I came home from work, took the dog out, then promptly took an hour-long nap. When I awoke, it was to my sweet B making noise in the kitchen, preparing to make his mama's recipe for Greek chicken.
Like my mom and the baklava, they're not Greek, either. But also like the baklava, this stuff is really good. And it has wine IN it, which usually means we have wine WITH it - which in my opinion is a terrific way to choose a recipe. Especially after a day like today.
It was kind of amazing to eat a meal that someone else cooked for me. In addition to the chicken, B made sauteed spinach and roasted broccoli, and all of it was wonderful and deliciously healthy. The majority of ingredients were ones we already had, which was nice, too.
I am so grateful I have a husband-to-be who is my partner in everything, who is ready to step up to the plate when I just can't get it together. I hope it goes without saying that I'd do the same for him. I'm also exceedingly grateful for a man whose mama taught him to cook. My brother is a phenomenal cook, but 99 percent of the men I know don't know how to cook. Thankfully my fiance does not fall into that category. And any sons we may have in the future - well, I'm going to make sure they have a rudimentary knowledge of the kitchen, if only for the sake of their future wives.
Enjoy the Greek chicken - see if you can get your man to make it for you, ladies!
Mama S's Greek Chicken
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dried white wine
1 2.25 can sliced black olives (we had green, so that's what we used)
2 tablespoons capers
4 ounces crumbled feta
Combine flour, salt and oregano. Dredge chicken in flour mixture.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Saute chicken until browned on both sides.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer until chicken is tender and sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Have you ever seen a whole vanilla bean before? I hadn't. At least, not until I went bumbling into Publix searching through the produce department looking for one, before I finally broke down and asked the guy stocking the tomatoes where I might find it (if they even had one). He put down his tomatoes and took me to the spice aisle where I was introduced to two whole vanilla beans in a jar. For $8.
They're not cheap, these whole vanilla beans, but they're worth it. They added a nice little zip to the applesauce I made with the bounty from our orchard trip. I didn't know much about them before, but I'll be sure to keep them in mind for the future.
To make the applesauce, peel, core and roughly chop 7 apples. The original recipe called for 14, but I didn't think B and I needed that much applesauce.
Put them in a large pot. Pour the juice from half a lemon, and one cup of apple cider, over the chopped apples.
Add 1/8 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Now, bust out your expensive little vanilla bean. Slice lengthwise, then use the back of a knife to scrape the vanilla out of the pot. Put the vanilla, as well as the pod shell, into the pot also.
Turn the burner on medium heat and let simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it looks a little like this, remove from heat and take out the pod:
Mash up any remaining large chunks of apples, let cool, then put into a container and in the refrigerator.
The verdict? Pretty good. B liked it, and he liked the subtle vanilla flavor. I liked it, but applesauce will never be my favorite. The vanilla bean gave it a little something extra, but I still have issues with the consistency of it. Instead, I'm going to use this goodness to put into some baked goods. Keep an eye out for those recipes!
You can see the original applesauce recipe here, on my coworker's blog, or you can see my version below.
Vanilla Bean Applesauce
1 cup apple cider
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 whole vanilla bean
Peel, core, and chop apples into chunks. Put into large pot.
Pour into pot the apple cider and lemon juice.
Add cinnamon and sugar.
Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Use the back of a knife to scrape out the vanilla into the pot. Throw the empty pod into the pot as well.
Cook over medium heat for 50-60 minutes. Enjoy the way your house smells.
Remove from heat and break up any large chunks of apples.
Use in any recipes that call for applesauce, or eat as a snack on its own.