Monday, February 04, 2013

Baked Mediterranean Chicken

I had my meals all planned for the week and, because we live in the south and at the time I was planning it was 70 degrees outside, I had planned to grill some marinated chicken and serve it over salad with some french bread on the side. But the weather didn't cooperate and, because we live in the south, the temps changed in about a day and suddenly we were plunged into an icy cold snap. I looked at my husband and said, "I don't suppose you'd be willing to grill anyway." He gave me that look that required no further conversation. And yet, I needed to use up that salad and bread lest it go bad. Can't have food going bad in my house. That really bugs me.

So I stood in my kitchen for awhile and stared at the chicken, sitting there in the fridge taunting me. It was about to outwit me until I remembered one of my mom's old recipes-- a staple meal of my childhood. And right there, thanks to my mom, I had my solution. I adapted what my mom used to do some and updated it a bit, because the product I used wasn't available in the 70's. At least not that I ever saw.

So here's my recipe, complete with pics, in case you need to come up with an indoor alternative to grilled chicken.

Baked Mediterranean Chicken 

You will need the following items. Just four things, and that includes the foil to wrap your chicken in. I like recipes that have few ingredients. You need chicken breasts, extra virgin olive oil (my mom used butter), and McCormick Mediterranean Spiced Sea Salt (my mom used Jane's Crazy Salt).
If you look closely at this photo, you can see the laundry piled on my loveseat in the background. This is real life, folks.
This is what the spice looks like that you will use. I found mine in the spice section with the salt.

Lay your chicken breast in the center of a decent size piece of foil, turned diagonal. Drizzle evoo over it and sprinkle with the salt mixture. This is salt, so remember if you put a lot your meat is going to be salty, so keep that in mind. One time I went a little crazy and my chicken was too salty. (And I love salt so that is saying a lot.)
It is helpful if you have a small person in the background watching you intently and asking a lot of questions. 

Then wrap your chicken breast like a little tent, leaving space on top of the chicken, so it looks like this picture. Make sure to seal the foil all the way around. The steam that gets trapped helps to cook the chicken and make it moist. It also keeps in the juices, which form a sauce when mixed with the spices and oil. This will come into play later.
The nice thing about this meal is you can go ahead and make these packets up whenever you have a few minutes, then just stick it in the fridge until you're ready to bake them.

Put all of your little chicken packets on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. When you open it it will look like this. The best part is there will be a yummy sauce that has formed in the bottom. I made some Basmati rice to pour the sauce over and it was good. When I was a kid my mom used to always make baked potatoes. The sauce also tastes good poured over those. I served the salad on the side as a side item along with the rice. And the french bread because why have one carb when you can have two?

If you did your job correctly, your family should look like this while eating the meal. And they should never miss the grilled chicken you had originally planned.
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken
McCormick Mediterranean Sea Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Aluminum Foil
Lay chicken breast on large piece of foil, turned into diamond shape.
Drizzle a little bit of evoo over chicken breast.
Then sprinkle sea salt mix over top of that.
Tent the foil around the chicken and seal well.
Put chicken packets on cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
(My chicken breasts were a good size-- you may want to reduce cooking size if your chicken breasts are smaller.)

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BethA said...

This sounds yummy! Think I'll try it this week!

Heather said...

Yum! I'm always looking for new chicken recipes. Thanks! (And I hear ya on the cold snap - we live in Raleigh and I was complaining about the weather yesterday - brrrr...)

bp said...

We just watched a foot of snow melt off our BBQ so we could have dinner, had to shovel a path to get there!! Its -16 which is 0 for you.

Pam said...

"you can see the laundry piled on my loveseat in the background" ~ You couldn't let that be, could you? You made me laugh out loud.

I'm gonna have to try this little chicken dish. I made those french bread pizzas last night to take to a Super Bowl party and they were a hit! Keep the recipes coming, Marybeth. You're feeding my family!!!