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Friday, June 24, 2011

Mediterranean Chicken in Grape Leaves

We're both really tired of the chaos in the house. As they say, progress is messy. Messy indeed. The best news of the day is that we almost have the screened porch back. The moldy orange carpet is now a lovely blue - see Mo glowering at me for disturbing his cat nap?

And, the glass and metal bookcase that I rescued from a friend's Goodwill pile eleven years ago has been replaced by a baker's rack. Tomorrow, I can hang the few things that go on the walls. The only "big" project out there is to paint the bench navy blue. I inherited it from a former roommate back in 1979 and it's still the same blue she had it painted. Can you tell I'm a bit frugal about these things? LOL. It's true. I'm one of the original reuse and recycle folks. Didn't buy my first piece of new furniture until I was 29 years old. Thanks to growing up with thrifty parents, I learned the lesson. Now, what does that have to do with food? I made Big John's pork tenderloin and had half a jar of grape leaves left. Actually, two-thirds of a jar. That meant I really needed to find a use for them.  We absolutely loved the This Little Piggy Pork Tenderloin.  So, it made sense to use the grape leaves with another meat and see how that worked. 

What did we think?  This was a bit salty and I'm not sure where it came from.  I used chicken thighs since I was making cat food and we bought boned thighs instead of the normal bone-in.  I figured there was more meat there than usual so grabbed four thighs off the stack before it went into the stock pot on it's way to feeding my buddy George.  the stuffing had olives in it so that may have added some saltiness.  But, my guess is you really need to soak the grape leaves before using them.  I did when I made the pork tenderloin but not this time.  Next time, I will.  Other than the saltiness, this was great.  It's kind of fun to give everyone their own little packet for dinner.  And, we loved the stuffing.

Mediterranean Chicken in Grape Leaves
serves 4

for the stuffing:
2 oz cream cheese
6 oz smoked goat cheese
1 t capers
1 t chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil
6 greek black olives chopped

for the rub:
crushed rosemary
crushed red pepper
garlic powder

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
grape leaves
1 lemon


Soak the grape leaves in a couple of cups of water mixed the juice of a lemon for about 20 minutes.  Mix the stuffing ingredients. 

Divide the stuffing between the chicken thighs.  

Mix the rub ingredients. 

Roll the chicken thighs in the rub. 

Wrap them well with grape leaves.  Secure the grape leaves with oven-proof bands. 

Grill on direct heat until the chicken is 10 degrees from your target temp.  Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.  Serve it with the grape leaves 


Monet said...

Hi sweet Kate...I'm sure you both are ready for all this work to be done. And I loved hearing about your former furniture finds. My living room is full of all recycled/reused furniture. So many came from family members, so I feel like I have them with me. Thank you for sharing with me. I know I will always leave your blog smiling. Have a beautiful and blessed weekend. You are precious to me!

The Mom Chef said...

I have to admit that after having recycled and reused furniture for the better half of my life, now that I'm married, it's nice to be buying a few new things that are "ours." It's a unique experience to have a matching set of something. :)

I love your creativity with these chicken breasts and grape leaves. I wish I could enjoy grape leaves, but the Mediterranean heritage made use of them too much when I was a kid so now I don't much care for them. Ah well.