Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken

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Smothered Chicken.JPG

Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

When I returned home from the US in the late 90’s, my first job was in an advertising agency as account manager for Mc Donald’s in Greece. I thought back then that that was awesome. Working for a big multinational agency and running an account as important as that of Mc Donald’s wow!

Reality came to remind me that real life sometimes has nothing to do with all the dreaming and expectations we are having. I started working crazy hours. I was entering the company at 9 in the morning and was able to finally see my tired body off at about 2 in the morning. That was going on day after day, week after week, month after month. I was making money, I didn’t have the chance to spend anywhere; so sad!

Another one thing that made my life miserable was the poor acceptance of Mc Donald’s among Greek audience and the reaction of Mc Donald’s management towards Greek market. I can tell you one thing before I proceed to explain what I mean; Mc Donald’s presence or “non presence” in Greece is a project that is certainly worth to be examined as a case study in all universities. I have no idea if anywhere else in the world that same thing has happened, but here this company just failed to gain any serious market share.

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The reasons? Well, first of all was the arrogance of the high level management. They came here to conquer. They wanted to impose their mentality and their belief of how a fast food chain should be run. I couldn’t blame them at first, since even in countries with heavy food inheritance, like France Mc Donald’s had a strong presence. What was Greece after all? A small country that shouldn’t create any obstacles! We tried, in vain, to make them change their strategy and try to adapt to the local customs and way of eating. Since we were watching sales fall, we suggested that they should adjust their menu to the Greek way of eating. No, that was unacceptable. Instead, they kept changing CEOs, bringing even the one who made Mc Donald’s a success in France.

The result was a few dozens of francisees losing their investments and the company eventually to stay with just a weak “voice”. I was not there to see the fall down as I was completely exhausted by the crazy working hours and eventually resigned. 

After all these years I can say that the food was completely plastic. As one of my teachers in the US said to us once, it seems that Mc Donald’s has some sort of slot machines in their kitchens which with the push of a button throw the cheeseburger ready to be served. I couldn’t agree more! Anyway, what I have learned from that experience is that we have to be flexible, listen to what the clients want and have the braveness to make changes.

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I love American kitchen because it is a melting pot of all kitchens in the world and while there, I have enjoyed very good quality meals and in portions that are not easily found in Europe. One of the dishes I loved and was eating very often was Smothered Chicken. All this melting cheese over sautéed chicken, onions and mushrooms was so delicious I couldn’t resist!

A little before Easter I received a basket full of goodies, courtesy of a Greek dairy company called Epirus. If you find their products in any grocery store, I urge you to try them, they are of excellent quality. Well, I was thinking what I was going to cook with all these products and I don’t know how the Smothered Chicken came to my mind. So, I thought that a little Greek infusion to an all American classic dish would not hurt, not at all! So, I made this Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken and let me tell you, it was absolutely divine. Layers of chicken, sautéed peppers, mushrooms and onions, topped with a phony béchamel with feta cheese and a sprinkle of other yellow cheese to help take a color and make a crust. You simply cannot imagine! Let’s see how I made it!

  Smothered Chicken.JPG

Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken

 

Ingredients

3 chicken breast halves

2 green peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

250 gr. / 9 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half

250 gr. / 9 oz. mushrooms, sliced

½ cup cracked wheat

½ cup parsley, chopped

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried basil

Salt and pepper

¼ cup sangria

3+3 tbsp olive oil

Smothered Chicken.JPG  

For the Feta Béchamel

410 gr. / 14.5 oz. milk

2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

250 gr. / 9 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

50 gr. / 2 oz. yellow cheese, grated

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp dried thyme

Pinch of salt

Pepper

Pinch of nutmeg

 

200 gr. / 7 oz. yellow cheese

  Smothered Chicken.JPG

Instructions

Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise in two pieces each one of them.

Take a skillet add 3 tbsp olive oil and sauté the chicken pieces from both sides for a couple of minutes each side.

Set aside.

In the same skillet add 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions and peppers in medium heat until they are soft.

Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.

Salt and pepper them.

Throw the dried basil and oregano and pour the sangria.

Increase the fire to high and let them absorb the wine.

Remove from fire and add the parsley and the cherry tomatoes.

Set aside.

  Smothered Chicken.JPG

Feta Sauce

In a pot pour the milk in medium heat.

When the milk starts to smoke add the corn starch and whisk vigorously.

When it starts to thicken add the nutmeg, oregano, basil, thyme and pepper.

Lower heat to low and throe the feta and the 50 gr. / 2 oz. of yellow cheese.

The sauce must have taken a thick texture.

Remove from fire.

Smothered Chicken.JPG  

Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.

Take a pan or a Pyrex and spread the cracked wheat on the bottom.

Above it place the chicken breasts and above them the sautéed onions/peppers/mushrooms.

Pour the feta sauce and sprinkle the rest 200gr. / 7 oz. of yellow cheese.

 

Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes and they are ready.

Smothered Chicken.JPG

5.0 from 7 reviews
Feta Cheese Smothered Chicken
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Fusion
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 3 chicken breast halves
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 250 gr. / 9 oz. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 250 gr. / 9 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup cracked wheat
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup sangria
  • 3+3 tbsp olive oil
For the Feta Béchamel
  • 410 gr. / 14.5 oz. milk
  • 2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp water
  • 250 gr. / 9 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 50 gr. / 2 oz. yellow cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 200 gr. / 7 oz. yellow cheese
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise in two pieces each one of them.
  2. Take a skillet add 3 tbsp olive oil and sauté the chicken pieces from both sides for a couple of minutes each side.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In the same skillet add 3 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions and peppers in medium heat until they are soft.
  5. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.
  6. Salt and pepper them.
  7. Throw the dried basil and oregano and pour the sangria.
  8. Increase the fire to high and let them absorb the wine.
  9. Remove from fire and add the parsley and the cherry tomatoes.
  10. Set aside.
Feta Sauce
  1. In a pot pour the milk in medium heat.
  2. When the milk starts to smoke add the corn starch and whisk vigorously.
  3. When it starts to thicken add the nutmeg, oregano, basil, thyme and pepper.
  4. Lower heat to low and throe the feta and the 50 gr. / 2 oz. of yellow cheese.
  5. The sauce must have taken a thick texture.
  6. Remove from fire.
  7. Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.
  8. Take a pan or a Pyrex and spread the cracked wheat on the bottom.
  9. Above it place the chicken breasts and above them the sautéed onions/peppers/mushrooms.
  10. Pour the feta sauce and sprinkle the rest 200gr. / 7 oz. of yellow cheese.
  11. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes and they are ready.

5.0 from 7 reviews
Κοτόπουλο Γκρατιναρισμένο με Μπεσαμέλ Φέτας
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Αμερικάνικη/Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 3 μισά στήθη κοτόπουλου
  • 2 πράσινες πιπεριές, κομμένες σε φέτες
  • 1 κρεμμύδι, κομμένο σε φέτες
  • 250 γρ. ντοματίνια, κομμένα στη μέση
  • 250 γρ. μανιτάρια, κομμένα σε φέτες
  • ½ φλ. πλιγούρι
  • ½ φλ. μαϊντανό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • ½ κ.γ. ρίγανη
  • ½ κ.γ. ξηρό βασιλικό
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι
  • ¼ φλ. σαγκρία
  • 3 + 3 κ.σ. ελαιόλαδο
Για τη Μπεσαμέλ Φέτας
  • 410 γρ. γάλα
  • 2 κ.σ. κορν φλάουρ διαλυμένο σε 2 κουταλιές της σούπας νερό
  • 250 γρ. τυρί φέτα, θρυμματισμένη
  • 50 γρ. κίτρινο τυρί, τριμμένο
  • 1 κ.γ. ρίγανη
  • ½ κ.γ. ξηρό βασιλικό
  • ¼ κ.γ. ξερό θυμάρι
  • 1 πρέζα αλάτι
  • Πιπέρι
  • 1 πρέζα μοσχοκάρυδο
  • 200 γρ. κίτρινο τυρί
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Κόψτε τα στήθη κοτόπουλου το κάθε ένα από αυτά εγκάρσια.
  2. Πάρτε μια κατσαρόλα, προσθέστε 3 κουταλιές της σούπας ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρετε το κοτόπουλο κομμάτια και από τις δύο πλευρές για μερικά λεπτά την κάθε πλευρά.
  3. Βάλτε στην άκρη.
  4. Στην ίδια κατσαρόλα προσθέστε 3 κ.σ. ελαιόλαδου και σοτάρετε τα κρεμμύδια και τις πιπεριές σε μέτρια θερμοκρασία έως ότου μαλακώσουν.
  5. Προσθέστε τα μανιτάρια και συνεχίστε να σοτάρετε για λίγα λεπτά.
  6. Αλατοπιπερώστε.
  7. Ρίξτε το βασιλικό και την ρίγανη και προσθέστε τη σαγκρία.
  8. Αυξήστε τη φωτιά σε υψηλή και αφήστε τα να απορροφήσουν το κρασί.
  9. Βγάλτε από τη φωτιά και προσθέστε το μαϊντανό και τα τοματίνια.
  10. Βάλτε στην άκρη.
Σάλτσα Φέτας
  1. Σε μια κατσαρόλα ρίξτε το γάλα σε χαμηλή φωτιά.
  2. Όταν το γάλα αρχίσει να καπνίζει προσθέστε το κορν φλάουρ και ανακατέψτε ζωηρά.
  3. Όταν αρχίσει να δένει προσθέστε το μοσχοκάρυδο, τη ρίγανη, το βασιλικό, το θυμάρι και το πιπέρι.
  4. Χαμηλώστε τη θερμοκρασία στο χαμηλό και ρίξτε τη φέτα και τα 50 γρ. από το κίτρινο τυρί.
  5. Η σάλτσα πρέπει να είναι σχετικά σφιχτή.
  6. Βγάλτε από τη φωτιά.
  7. Προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 200° C.
  8. Πάρτε ένα ταψί ή ένα πυρέξ και απλώστε το πλιγούρι στο κάτω μέρος.
  9. Πάνω από αυτό τοποθετήστε τα στήθη κοτόπουλου και από πάνω τους τα κρεμμύδια/πιπεριές/μανιτάρια σωτέ.
  10. Ρίξτε τη σάλτσα φέτας και πασπαλίστε τα υπόλοιπα 200γρ. από το κίτρινο τυρί.
  11. Ψήστε για περίπου 20 με 30 λεπτά και είναι έτοιμο.

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Life on Lakeshore Drive

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