Make Ahead Mediterranean Chicken

Make Ahead Mediterranean Chicken

This recipe will dazzle you with flavor!

Make these in the morning and put in the oven at night for an easy dinner! This would also make a great make-ahead dinner party entrée. Serve with a beautiful salad and some warm bread. Perhaps Caprese Skewers and Oven Baked Shrimp or Make Ahead Shrimp as appetizers?

I like to prep the marinade and the vegetables the day before when I’m preparing other items. Then, the morning that I want to cook this recipe, I chop the chicken and put the vegetables and marinade in individual casserole dishes, cover with foil, refrigerate and bake later in the day.

This recipe can also be cooked over a barbecue or over a campfire. For Foil Pack Recipe for Camping, RV or Boat Recipe go here.

This marinade is one of my favorites. It has so much flavor and is versatile. I use it to flavor roasted vegetables and cook the most delectable shrimp skewers in. In fact, go ahead and double the marinade when you are making it for the chicken. Save some and use it on the roasted vegetables or shrimp skewers later in the week.

If you do not already have a microplaner I highly recommend that you get one. I took a cooking class taught by an Italian Grandma who told me it was her favorite kitchen tool. I bought one and now its my “favorite can not do without tool”! Here is an Amazon Choice Microplaner for zesting citrus and grating cheese.

You will also want to buy some sundried tomatoes. I like the ones that are not packed in oil. Trader Joe’s has them but you can also buy them on Amazon. I always keep these on hand. They are a healthy flavor booster! You can use them in risotto, scrambled eggs, salads, pastas, pizza.

Serves 4

  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry with a paper towel and cut into large bite sized pieces (6-8 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red Peppers in a jar, chopped. If you don not have these you can roast a red pepper on the grill or broil it until tender, cool it then remove the charred skin.
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved, or a combo of any olives you like
  • 1 cup jarred quartered artichoke hearts I use Costco’s
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (not in oil) I like Trader Joe’s and have linked to them on Amazon)

Marinade

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley (if you don’t have this don’t worry, it will still be good without)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake, or more for spicier

Serve with whole wheat couscous.

Combine the chicken, red peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and 1/3 cup of the marinade in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.

Turn on the oven on to 350 F.

Evenly distribute the chicken vegetable mixture between 4 oven proof dishes. Cover tightly with foil.

Put the dishes into the oven and bake 28-30 minutes until the chicken measures 163°F. Do not, I repeat, do not overbake or the chicken will be tough. 🙂

If you end up making Mediterranean Chicken I want to see your results ❤

Make sure to snap a pic and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @MariaFairesRD_Personal Trainer and using #MariaFaires

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Easy Make-Ahead Shrimp Cocktail

This is such an easy recipe and it really frees up your time so you can enjoy your guests since it can be made ahead of time.

You can either poach your own shrimp or do what I do and buy them precooked.

Then all you have to do is just portion out some commercial bottled cocktail sauce into pretty little glass shot glasses or these disposable ones, add a shrimp with the tail hanging over the edge and a lemon wedge on the rim and/or a pretty snip of fresh dill.  

An even easier presentation is to simply arrange the shrimp on a pretty platter with some sauce in a small bowl and garnish with lemon circles, wedges, dill or fresh parsley.

Keep refrigerated and serve immediately.

11-15 size jumbo pre-cooked shrimp, thawed rinsed and dried very well.

2 Tbsp. cocktail sauce per shot glass

 

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Peel and Eat Brined Grilled Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Peel and Eat Brined Grilled Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Brining is the secret to preparing moist grilled shrimp. Brining keeps the shrimp moist, tender yet firm. Check to see if the shrimp you are purchasing are treated with sodium or preservatives like sodium tripolyphosphate. If so, you shouldn’t brine these.  Skip that step.

These make a great party appetizer or as a luncheon or dinner entrée.

Thread the shrimp on 12 inch flat skewers so they don’t twirl on the skewer.

If you prefer no peel, go ahead and peel the shrimp before you brine.

I have also cooked these in the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and put the shrimp and marinade on the sheet. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes until opaque. This makes a nice sauce so this is great served with brown rice.

Another tip: I use the marinade recipe for roasting cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts. It is so delicious!

Ingredients:

FOR THE BRINE:

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp cup sugar

FOR THE MARINADE:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake, or more for spicier

20 jumbo shrimp peeled or unpeeled and deveined (about 1 1/4 lb.) I use Wild Patagonia 16-20 raw, easy peel, shell-on, deveined (I purchase at QFC) If your shrimp are treated, do not brine

General Shrimp Brining Directions: Dissolve salt and sugar in 4 cups cold water in a large container. Submerge shrimp in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels.

TO MAKE THE MARINADE: In a medium bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients.

Place the shrimp in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade around all the shrimp, place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove the shrimp from the bag and discard the marinade. Thread the shrimp closely together as shown above onto flat skewers. Grill over *direct medium heat until just opaque in the center and firm to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes, turning the skewers once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill and place on a clean plate. Serve warm. (*If you do not have a thermometer, use this method of estimating the heat: Hold your hand about 3 inches above the grill, or at the point where the food will be cooking. Keep your hand there as long as you can and count. If you have to move your hand in less than 4-5 seconds: the fire is medium heat, or about 350°F.)

These white plates (shown below) would work perfectly for serving. The skewers are 12 inches and the plates are 14 inches long.

Serving Suggestion: Sweet Chili Brussels Sprouts

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