I love trying new places to eat, especially fast-casual types. You know, the ones where you can order the kind of food you might make at home, but without all the mess of actually cooking at home.
So, the other day, I happened upon a new Greek eatery that opened up nearby. (It was one of those times where work was really busy, and it was 3pm already, and I hadn’t eaten lunch, so really I just pulled up to the first place I saw. But fortunately I had been wanting to try it out anyway.)
All the dishes there looked great, but the dish I ordered was something so delicious, I had to try to make it myself. It is a piece of chicken, topped with a spinach and feta cheese combination that is grilled to perfection. It was full of flavor, and if you top it with spinach it must be healthy, right? (Right? Anyone?)
Greek flavors are often very simple, a lot of olive oil, lemon, thyme, and oregano. So I started by marinating some chicken cutlets in a marinade of, well, olive oil, lemon, oregano, salt, and pepper. (I was out of thyme. There’s never enough thyme!)
Let that marinate for an hour or so, so the flavor really seeps in.
While that’s happening, you can get your spinach ready. I used frozen spinach and mixed it with feta cheese, olive oil, and salt & pepper.
I also took the time to roast some potatoes, because why not? It was just some olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. And garlic salt. Just a touch.
These aren’t even cooked and they look delicious.
Ok so now an hour has gone by and you’re ready to make the chicken. Heat up a grill pan, take the chicken out of the marinade, shaking of the excess, and get grilling!
When it’s cooked on one side, flip it. Now let’s add the spinach.
At this point make sure that you try to get it on the actual kitchen, because as I found out, spinach can get real smokey. Like, had to open all the windows, turn on the fan, that kind of smokey. Whoops!
Now the tricky part here, is flipping it, because you want to get that spinach and cheese melted too. So after the chicken is cooked you very carefully flip it back over so that the spinach is on the grill.
There might be a better way to do this, I suppose you could put the spinach directly on the grill and then lay the chicken on top, but that’s not as fun.
After a minute, use a spatula to grab the chicken and flip it spinach side up.
Didn’t lose a bit of that spinach!
Now you have some slightly charred spinach and cheese, on top of perfectly grilled chicken. If you want, make a greek salad to go with it, and serve it up with those potatoes.
Look at all those greens! It’s a healthy meal, I think, but it was definitely big on flavor. And since it’s a billion degrees here in Los Angeles, I dined al fresco on the patio! Which had nothing to do with the fact that my apartment was full of smoke.
GREEK(ISH) CHICKEN AND SPINACH
4 chicken breast cutlets
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp oregano
1 16oz bag frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
5 oz feta cheese
1. In a bowl, whisk the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup olive oil, and 3/4 tsp oregano together. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and make sure it’s all covered in the marinade. Let sit for one hour.
2. Squeeze spinach in a kitchen towel to remove all excess water. Place in a bowl. Add the feta cheese, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix together with a fork, breaking up any large clumps of spinach.
3. When the chicken is ready, heat a grill pan on medium high. Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess, and place on hot grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then turn over.
4. Cover the top of the chicken with spinach mixture. After 3 -4 minutes, flip chicken and spinach over. Be careful, the spinach might not be too stable!
5. Grill, spinach side down, for one minute. Remove to a plate, flipping it back, spinach side up!
6. Serve with roasted potatoes, and/or a Greek salad!