My Gorgeous Man had been working 16 hour days, for weeks and was absolutely exhausted!  What my man needed was a vacation in the Mediterranean!  

Yes, a Mediterranean Vacation is exactly what would restore him; but there was no way we could fit a trip like that into our immediate future.  

However, luckily I know how to give him a Mediterranean Dining Experience in less than one hour… 

Mediterranean Chicken with Garlic, Herbs and Tomatoes 
is pure comfort food.  And I’ve found that no matter how weary a person is; this dish has almost magical restorative powers.

At the end of yet another 16 hour work day…
I patted the chicken dry and gently browned each piece in olive oil.  I added diced onions, celery and red pepper… then aromatic herbs.  Lots of minced garlic and tomatoes were tossed in and as everything began to simmer together I breathed in deeply; what a delicious aroma.  It smelled like love and life and restored vigor.  And suddenly the best place in the world to be is… home.

As I returned the chicken to the pan, put the lid on and lowered the heat; my Gorgeous Man pulled me into his arms.   Kissing me appreciatively he said, “It smells like the ‘best restaurant in the world’ in here!  When are we eating?”  

I laughed, it was so good to see his eyes sparkle with the joy of living again, “In about 35 minutes you are going to think you are dining in a fabulous country bistro.”

He poured each of us a glass of wine and we made ridiculous “toasts” to each other as the chicken simmered on top of the stove. 

Our Mediterranean Chicken with Garlic, Herbs and Tomatoes finished cooking and on each of our plates I put a mound of hot, garlic-mashed potatoes and a side of tender-crisp, organic green beans cloaked in a little browned butter and topped with fresh parsley.  On chilled plates, I mounded crisp, torn romaine leaves,  sliced cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and diced red onion; then drizzled vinaigrette dressing on top of each salad.  And at the last minute added a few brine cured olives.  It was… perfect!  

Oh, yes… this was going to be a wonderful night… and it was.  It truly did seem like we both experienced a mini-vacation in the Mediterranean!

Here’s my gluten-free recipe for Mediterranean Chicken with Garlic, Herbs and Tomatoes.  I hope you enjoy your very own mini-vacation very soon!  
Much love and Bon Appétit!  Lynn


Mediterranean Chicken with Garlic, Herbs and Tomatoes
This delicious, low-fat, gourmet chicken dish is perfect for company or family meals.  No one will ever guess that it is budget friendly, gluten-free and easy to make, too.  

6-8 Chicken legs or thighs, skinned
2-3 tablespoons olive oil 
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1/2 cup each: Diced onion, celery and red pepper (1/4 inch size)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon each: Italian Seasoning, Poultry Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon each: Thyme, Ground Coriander
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1 can 14.5 oz. (411g) diced tomatoes with juice

1.  Pat chicken dry.  Season the chicken very lightly with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet heat olive oil (or oil of your choice) and cook the chicken over med-high heat until lightly browned.  Remove chicken and set aside.     

  • The sauce will be reduced; so do not add too much salt now.  Also the canned tomatoes may be salted, so go light on the salt.
  • Be sure to heat your oil until it is hot before adding the chicken (this helps the chicken to not stick).  If your chicken does stick; don’t worry, just scrape up the tasty bits when you add the tomatoes.  At serving time; spoon the sauce over the chicken, garnish with a little chopped parsley and… it’s beautiful!

2.  In the same skillet add the diced onion, celery and red pepper.  Cook until vegetables are tender and the onion is limp about 5-10 minutes.  Add all the herbs and stir for about 1-2 minutes.  (This brings out their flavor) 

3.  Lower the heat and add the garlic.  Cook just until you can smell the garlic, about 30 seconds.  Immediately add the tomatoes with the juice so the garlic doesn’t burn.  Stir the sauce.  Return the chicken to the skillet and increase the heat to medium/high.  Cover with a lid.  With your finger touch the lid from time to time – when the lid is too hot to touch; lower the heat to lowSimmer for 30 minutes.

4.  The chicken should be completely cooked now.  Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep it warm; leave the sauce in the pan.  Turn the heat to medium/high and boil the sauce until it reduces by 2/3; this only takes a few minutes.  The sauce will get thick.  Taste the sauce and season with salt and freshly ground pepper, if needed. (Don’t burn yourself – it’s hot!)  Spoon the sauce over the chicken and enjoy your Mediterranean dinner!

Serves 3 – 4 

Make Ahead:  Mediterranean Chicken with Garlic, Herbs and Tomatoes can be made the day before and reheated before serving.  Fabulous!
 

LYNN’S NOTES FOR SUCCESS:
Question: What does “diced” mean? 
  • Diced is simply a way to describe how the vegetables are cut into little cubes or squares. Now don’t stress over getting perfectly chopped veggies – just chop them up and throw them in the pan – they are going to be cooked anyway ~ no one will notice if your veggies aren’t perfectly diced (or chopped.)
  • Diced does not mean the vegetables should be cut the size of playing dice – that’s waaay too big!
 
Question:  Why does the chicken need to be dried and how do you do it?
  • If the chicken isn’t dried it will not brown properly. 
  • The chicken should be patted dry with a paper towel.
Question:  What is the best way to skin a chicken leg??
  • I use a paper towel to give me “traction.”  I grab the chicken in my hand and use the paper towel to help pull the skin off; otherwise the chicken slips right out of my hands! 

 

Question:  Don’t you need a coating of flour when you are sauteing the chicken?
  • No.  
Question:  Why is the sauce boiled and reduced by 2/3?
  • Reducing the sauce is a Chef’s trick that gives an intense flavor boost and also thickens the sauce without the need for flour or thickeners. Very gourmet!

 

Happy Mediterranean Vacation at Home! 
 

 

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