A Healthy Pre-Holiday Meal
With the holidays just around the corner it’s time to make an extra effort to eat healthy before the calorie-laden festive feeding frenzy begins.
When I want to make a healthy meal I generally turn to one of two types of cuisine: Asian, which includes masterfully prepared vegetables, and Mediterranean which knows how to use simple ingredients and healthy fats to prepare quick tasty meals.
For this dish, I took my inspiration from Greece, marinating chicken breast in Greek yogurt and olive oil flavored with lemon and garlic before roasting in the oven. The potatoes are roasted in Olive oil, herbs and spices just long enough to make em so crispy you’d think they’d been fried.
The best part about this dish? You hardly need to be in the kitchen to make it. Your fridge and oven do most of the work. Set a timer on your phone and go back in for the extra steps. If you want to make the meal REALLY Greek, serve with a Greek Salad.
Togas are optional.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep time: 5 - 10 Minutes
Marinating Time: Minimum 1 Hour
Cook Time: 1 Hour
3 Chicken Breasts cut into 1 inch wide strips
¼ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Large Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon – The zest will impart all the flavor of the fruit without the acidity of the juice, which would cure the meat before it’s cooked.
1 ½ Teaspoons of Oregano
1 Teaspoon of Salt
½ a Teaspoon of Pepper – Freshly ground is ideal, but you what you have
3 to 4 Potatoes, washed and cut into evenly sized pieces – Yellow fleshed potatoes, often known as “Yukon Gold” are ideal, but use what you have or what's on sale
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
½ Teaspoon of Garlic Powder – I normally prefer fresh garlic, but for potatoes that are going to be a while in the oven the powder works better because it distributes evenly over them and there’s no risk of the garlic burning and turning bitter
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
½ a Teaspoon each of Salt and Pepper – You may want to adjust this amount after cooking, but this is a good place to start.
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice – Feel free to get the juice from the same lemon you got the zest from for the marinade
2 Baking Pans
2 Spatulas - 1 for the chicken, 1 for the potatoes
1 Large Zip top Bag
Measuring Cups and Spoons
1 Mixing Bowl
1 Knife and Cutting Board
TO MARINATE THE CHICKEN
In a bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon zest, salt, pepper and garlic and whisk it all together to combine.
Dump the yogurt mixture into a zip top bag and add the chicken strips. Close the bag, making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible and squish the bag around so the chicken gets evenly coated.
Stick the bag in the fridge and walk away for at least an hour to let that marinade really sink in. You could also prep this chicken in the morning and let it marinate all day in the fridge.
WHEN YOU’RE READY TO GET COOKING
Preheat the oven to 350 oF.
In your first baking pan, dump in all the ingredients for the potatoes and mix them around with your hands to evenly coat them with the herbs, spices, oil, salt and pepper.
Stick the pan on the lower rack of your oven and walk away for 30 minutes.
When the time is up, coat your second baking pan with cooking spray and put in the marinated chicken.
Stick the pan with the chicken on the top rack of the oven and take out the potatoes.
With your trusty first spatula, flip the potatoes over and stick the pan back on the bottom rack.
Close the oven and walk away for 30 minutes.
When the time is up, take out the potatoes but leave the chicken in and turn the oven on broil.
Leave the chicken in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes to brown it a bit.
Let the chicken rest in the pan for 5 minutes and serve with the potatoes.
-Samantha R. Gold
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