Zorba the Sheet….Pan

Ok.  We’re all pressed for time aren’t we?  Sheet pan dinners get it on the table not only quickly, but deliciously.  They come together in short order, you place them in a hot oven; it even gives you time for a cocktail while it’s cooking.  I say it’s a win, win.

Have any of you seen the movie Zorba the Greek (1964)?  It’s a classic in every sense.  An uptight British writer travels to Crete on business, and finds his life forever changed when he meets a gregarious Greek named Alexis Zorba.  I LOVE this movie.  It demonstrates how if you open your heart to the unfamiliar, you can be altered when you face it head on.  Stream it; you’ll love it.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen….each culture has distinct flavors.  Greek food has its roots in Mediterranean cuisine.  It makes wide use of olive oil, wine, meat (in this case chicken) vegetables, olives and cheese.  It’s savory, distinct, herbaceous, and authentic.  Personally, anything from the Mediterranean is fine with me.  And as the Greek’s would say: “Gia sas!” (cheers)

GREEK SHEET PAN DINNER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise, then into sixths
  • 2 cups red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can baby artichokes, drained and cut in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, cut in half lengthwise, then into sixths
  • 4-6 bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cups kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup feta, crumbled

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, add peppers, onion, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Toss, and then place on baking sheet, leaving space in the center for chicken.  Save the oil and vinegar that falls to the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken and place in center of sheet pan.  Brush with some of the oil and vinegar from bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, lemon sections and garlic over vegetables.  Place herb sprigs on top of chicken.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken reaches 160 degrees when tested with instant read thermometer.
  6. Remove herb sprigs.  Place chicken on platter, and  surround with veggies; then sprinkle olives, capers, feta and basil over everything.  (I like to finish this with a little homemade basil oil; see page  )

Serves 4-6

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“You can knock on a deaf man’s door forever.”   —Nikos Kazantzakis

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