Saturday, March 06, 2010
It's been a little crazy around here lately. First it was the birth of my new nephew, known fondly as the C-man and, I say apologetically to all the other aunties out there, the cutest baby ever born. Then we launched into a long-awaited (15 years, give or take) remodel of our main floor bathroom, requiring a major purging of years of what can only be described as assorted crap. Then this last week my neighbor's beloved father, Floyd, passed away, a kind and gentle Texan who had graced our table too few evenings in his short time in Oregon.
So why is GoodStuffNW suddenly turning into one of those soap opera-inspired, my-life-splashed-before-the-world blogs? Because, as everyone knows, the birth of a baby and a death in a family requires that food be taken to the beleaguered, sleep-deprived parents and grieving friends, of course.
Perfect for this task are various casseroles, lasagnes and platters of enchiladas that can be kept for a week or so, or frozen till needed. Comforting, yes, but a tad on the heavy side. Which is why I like a certain chicken dish that can be thrown together in virtually no time and is even good enough for company dinner when you're pressed for time or inspiration.
Layered with artichokes, olives and feta, it has a Greek profile that only needs the addition of some plain white rice and an easy salad to make a fetching dinner. Perfect for those times when your life turns into something of a soap opera.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 lbs. chicken thighs or 1 whole chicken, cut up
6 cloves garlic, slivered
1 15-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 c. pitted kalamata olives
4 oz. feta cheese, broken into chunks
1 Tbsp. oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°. Heat oil in skillet and brown chicken parts in batches, transferring them to a 9" by 12" baking dish as they brown. After chicken has been browned, using the same skillet, lightly sauté the garlic slivers and scatter over chicken in baking dish. Distribute artichokes, olives and feta over the chicken and sprinkle with oregano. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until thighs are done. If using whole chicken, bake for 45 minutes.
Options: Slice up oil-cured sundried tomatoes and scatter them over the chicken with the other ingredients. Or, instead of feta, add 1 large can stewed tomatoes to make a rich, braised dish.