I call this simple because you can make all of it on one baking sheet (plus a blender for the sauce), there is minimal and completely imprecise chopping involved, and there is no marinating beforehand (although you certainly could if you are feeling particularly organized the day before.) This recipe is adapted from a chicken kebab recipe found in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, an extremely practical and pretty cookbook that I received from my cousin Emily at last year’s not-so-secret Santa family gift exchange. Being what seems eternally without a grill and momentarily out of kebab skewers I left the chicken thigh pieces whole and only roughly chopped up the vegetables. The neighbourhood produce stand was selling tiny sweet peppers for a great price, they look stunning left whole and roasted with the red onions and zucchini, but you could very easily use cut up regular sized sweet peppers, eggplant, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, or broccoli. The minty feta sauce can be assembled in less than five minutes and tastes divine smothered all over the chicken and vegetables. If you have leftovers try the sauce in a pita with falafel, over lamb, as a crudité dip, in a tomato sandwich – it even makes a unique and delicious salad dressing when thinned with some extra red wine vinegar. For nights when you don’t feel like leaving the house due to hockey riots I cannot recommend simplicity and good taste strongly enough, both assets this recipe carries in spades.
simple greek(ish) chicken and vegetables:
4-6 chicken thighs, bone-in with skin
1 zucchini, cut haphazardly into manageable chunks
1 red onion, cut the same as the zucchini
1 large bunch of miniature sweet peppers
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cover a large baking sheet with with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the vegetables all at once and stir to coat with the dressing. Using your hands, scoop the vegetables onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Using the remaining oil and vinegar mixture dredge each chicken thigh before nestling in amongst the vibrant vegetables. Drizzle any leftover dressing over the whole baking sheet.
3. Bake uncovered for about half an hour, give or take a few minutes depending on the size of the chicken thighs. Fifteen minutes into the cooking time make sure to flip the vegetables so they don’t get burned on one side. After a half an hour turn your oven to broil and allow everything to crisp up for about five minutes (be careful here, always keep an eye on the chicken and vegetables as they will brown quickly.) Serve with a minty feta sauce.
minty feta sauce:
1 single serving container of plain yogurt, full or low fat is fine
3 oz. mild feta, I used cow’s milk
1 cup of fresh mint
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1. Put everything in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy.
I listen to Richard Hawley a lot when I’m by myself or when it’s late at night (like right now at 4:00 AM), I couldn’t tell you precisely how his music enriches time spent alone but it does in a way that makes you feel cemented to your immediate state of mind, like the outside world stops existing momentarily. I love to dreamily cook and listen to the album “Late Night Final”, I can make myself a cup of tea afterwards and sit on my balcony in the sort-of sun and read some PG Wodehouse. As I said, it’s incredibly late as I finish this entry but Hawley’s music makes me feel well-insulated instead of abnormal when I need to get things accomplished at odd hours of the night. His music is an effortless combination of sad, simple, and romantic; this is from my favourite album but I honestly think that they’re all equal in sincerity and beauty.
Richard Hawley – Can You Hear the Rain, Love?