Roasted Lemon Chicken over Garlicky Greens & Rice with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

This full-flavored weeknight dish was healthy and delicious. The yogurt sauce was an essential element for my family. Any combination of greens could be used in this dish- I used the ingredients that had just arrived in my CSA box. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I incorporated sautéed collard greens, bok choy, and leeks. I served the chicken and greens over brown Basmati rice drizzled with pan juices. We also had warm naan on the side. Great.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

For the Chicken:

  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 7 thighs)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely grated, minced or passed through a press
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh thyme and/or oregano leaves (I used 1/2 T each) (can substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano)
  • large pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 8 thin wedges

For the Garlicky Greens:

  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of collard greens, ribs removed, halved lengthwise
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 1-2 leeks (I used 1 1/2 large leeks), sliced into 1/4-inch half moons and soaked
  • 5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • large pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 T sherry vinegar

For the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek or other strained, thick yogurt (or substitute labneh or sour cream) (I used 2% Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated seedless cucumber, such as Persian or hothouse cucumbers
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated, minced or passed through a press

To Serve:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, parsley, and/or cilantro, for garnish
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  • warm flatbread, such as naan, for serving, optional

To Prep & Roast the Chicken:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with the salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 4 of the grated garlic cloves, thyme and/or oregano, red-pepper flakes, and olive oil.
  4. Add chicken and lemon wedges, and toss until well coated. (If you want to work ahead, you can refrigerate the chicken for up to 12 hours before roasting.) (I marinated the chicken in the refrigerator for 6 hours prior to cooking.)
  5. To Prep the Greens: Cut the ribbed collards into 1/4-inch ribbons. Slice ribbons in half; set aside. Cut the leafy portion of the bok choy into 1/2-inch ribbons. Rinse and dry the collards and leafy bok choy. Cut the bok choy stems into 1/8-inch pieces, cutting larger pieces in half to make relatively equal-sized pieces. Soak separately from the leafy greens to clean; rinse, dry, and set aside.
  6. Arrange chicken and lemons on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed sheet pan in a single layer.
  7. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes in a convection oven, or up to 27 to 35 minutes in a standard oven. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
  8. After placing the chicken in the oven, cook the rice, the greens, and make the sauce. (see below)

To Cook the Garlicky Greens:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high. Add the soaked and strained leeks, sliced garlic, and chopped bok choy stems. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the washed leafy greens, 1 to 2 handfuls at a time, and stir until wilted. Continue until all of the greens have been added to the pan. Cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Season with the sherry vinegar as well as salt and pepper, to taste.

To Make the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:

  1. Stir together yogurt, grated cucumber and clove of minced garlic in a small bowl.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

To Serve:

  1. Layer the sautéed greens over the rice on a platter or other serving dish.
  2. Top with the roasted chicken. Squeeze roasted lemon wedges all over chicken, and sprinkle with mint/parsley/cilantro and more red-pepper flakes, if desired.
  3. Drizzle some of the accumulated pan juices over the top of everything.
  4. Serve chicken accompanied by cucumber-yogurt sauce and warm flatbread.

Chicken-Spinach Burgers with Feta & Tzatziki

These Greek-inspired chicken burgers were juicy and flavor-packed. They were relatively healthy too! We ate them on Memorial Day with corn and potato salad on the side. Delicious.

This recipe was loosely adapted from Bon AppĂ©tit, contributed by Sue Li. I used freshly ground chicken thighs, added feta, and modified the proportions and method. The original recipe notes that in order to keep the burgers moist, it is important that the meat isn’t packed too tightly. I think that the exorbitant amount of spinach also kept the burgers moist.

Yield: 7 to 8 burgers

For the Burgers:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (can substitute ground turkey)
  • 4 cups baby spinach, long and/or thick stems removed, chiffonade
  • 4 large or 6 small scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped, finely grated, or pushed through a garlic press
  • 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 5-6 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 T panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil and/or cooking oil spray, for grill
  • 8 potato rolls, split, lightly toasted (if desired), for serving
  • sliced red onion, tomato, and/or avocado, for topping, as desired
  • tzatziki sauce, for topping (see below)

For the Tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • dash cumin
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
  • 1/4 cup grated English cucumber, squeezed dry (I used the small holes of a box grater)
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used the juice of half of a Meyer lemon)
  • fresh dill or parsley, minced, to taste

To Make the Burger Patties:

  1. Using a meat grinder fitted with the medium disc, grind 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. (Alternatively use 1 1/2 pounds of pre-ground chicken or turkey.) Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cut spinach, scallions, garlic, crumbled feta, cumin, salt, pepper, egg and panko. Using a fork, mix to combine.
  3. Add the ground meat; mix gently with a fork until just combined.
  4. Form into 7 to 8 patties, about 1/2-inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the sauce.

To Make the Tzatziki:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients with a large pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Refrigerate so that the flavors can develop while the burgers are cooked.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as desired. Additional lemon juice can also be added.

To Finish & Serve:

  1. Coat the grill grates with vegetable oil and preheat on medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the meat from the refrigerator to bring the burger patties to room temperature. To prevent sticking, coat the burgers with vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray.
  3. Cook the burgers until lightly browned on both sides and until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Serve the patties on rolls topped with tzatziki and sliced red onions, tomatoes, and/or avocado, as desired.

Note: Burger patties can be formed 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Falafel-Spiced Heirloom Tomatoes & Chickpeas on Flatbread

IMG_3564

I am bringing you this wonderful dish as a guest post of sorts. I had my eye on this recipe, and my friend brought it to share at a dinner at my house. It was so pretty and tasty, we decided I had to share it! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. My friend doubled the heirloom tomatoes and cut them slightly thicker. She also used lemon zest as well as sumac in the seasonings. Warm naan was substituted for the flatbread in the original recipe (although I included the instructions below). My mistake was suggesting that we should warm the naan in the oven. Next time, grilling or toasting the naan until crispy before assembly would allow it to hold up a little better to the slathering of delicious toppings. 🙂

The beautiful summer tomatoes really shine in this dish!

Yield: 4 as a vegetarian main course or 8 to 10 as an appetizer

For the Tomatoes & Chickpeas:

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (and/or lemon zest)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more
  • 2 to 4 large heirloom tomatoes, any color, thinly sliced
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 Persian cucumber, peeled, chopped
  • Âľ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • hot sauce, such as Cholula
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Flatbread & Assembly:

  • Âľ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To Make the Tomatoes And Chickpeas:

  1. Combine garlic, sumac (& lemon zest, if using), red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl.
  2. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle garlic mixture evenly over top. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  3. Toss chickpeas and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Mash chickpeas with a fork until about half are smashed. Add shallot, parsley, and oil and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To Make the Yogurt Sauce:

  1. Combine cucumber, yogurt, mint, and parsley in a medium bowl; season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes.
    Do Ahead: Yogurt sauce can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover and chill.

To Make the Flatbread: (Alternatively, substitute 4 pieces of full-size naan, grilled or toasted until crisp.)

  1. Whisk baking powder, sugar, 2 cups flour, and 2 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Add yogurt and stir to combine (the yogurt’s acidity ensures a tender texture).
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until mostly smooth, about 1 minute. Divide into 4 pieces, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 15 minutes (this will make dough easier to roll).
  3. Working one at a time, roll out each piece of dough into a round about â…›” thick. (Don’t stress: They don’t need to be perfect.)
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. Working one at a time, cook rounds of dough until underside is golden brown and flatbread is beginning to puff, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until other side is golden brown, about 1 minute longer; transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and rounds of dough. Let cool slightly.

To Assemble:

  1. Top each flatbread with yogurt sauce, chickpea mixture, and tomatoes. Drizzle with more oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut into wedges and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Tzatziki

My mom made this Greek dish a lot when I was growing up. Long long ago, she spent a lot of time in Greece and still absolutely loves Greek food. This dish is great and very versatile. It can be eaten as an appetizer with pita bread, for a light lunch, as a condiment, or as a side dish. It is quick, healthy, and flavorful.

At my bridal shower- also long long ago- each guest brought a recipe to contribute to a special recipe book. This authentic Tzatziki recipe was contributed by my Greek next door neighbor.

Tzatziki tastes better if made with thick yogurt. You can easily make thick yogurt by straining regular plain yogurt inside cheesecloth over a bowl. I usually use store bought Greek yogurt.

  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded (I use a seedless English cucumber)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or strained plain yogurt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp vinegar (I use red wine vinegar or lemon juice)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • fresh dill, chopped, to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced through a garlic press
  1. Peel the cucumber and cut it into very small and thin pieces, slice it into rounds on the the thinnest mandolin setting, or grate it.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
  3. Leave in refrigerator one to two hours. Serve with toasted pieces of pita bread, if desired.

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