Friday, February 4, 2011

Of Greek Bazaars and Giveaways

Ohhhh hai 2011! Me and 2010 didn't work out so well with the blogging. New job and stress and all that fun stuff. Things have started to calm down...sort of...with that, and because it's so frickin' freeeeeezing outside, now seemed like a good time to get back to the grind of blogging. I can't make any promises on frequency, but I will TRY my hardest to do at least once a week...2 if I'm uber inspired. I also have a new facebook fan page for the blog, so go check out!

Now that we've gotten that out of the way.

Am I the only one who not only looks forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners at the end of the year, but also the annual Greek Bazaar at the Greek Orthodox Church? Because I shamelessly do. All those delish foods have me enraptured, but I have to say my faves are the Greek chicken, moussaka, and the loukoumades (honey balls). Really, if I am being honest, they are all my faves. Soooo...I thought to myself, Self, why can't we try making the Greek chicken? Doesn't seem like it would be too hard/complicated. It's been 3 months, so I attempted to recreate taste/texture from memory. I think it was pretty successful! Whoever first thought of matching tomato + oregano + CINNAMON should have won an award. Not surprising, with all those genius thinkers/philosphers from "back in the day." I will apologize beforehand and say that I eyeballed the spices/herbs so don't freak out over palm measurements. I will attempt to give estimated exact measurements...but be sure you taste. Go forth ye, and taste heaven in your mouth. Recipe at the bottom.

Now, 2nd item on agenda: THE FIRST GIVEAWAY. Yes, you heard correctly. I have uno beverage cookbook entitled "Hot Drinks" by Louise Pickford to giveaway to one lucky reader...if there are any out there! I picked this up for a steal a few months ago, never used (I just have too many cookbooks), and you will have to pardon the slight tear on the dust jacket due to the jumble that is my apartment. It has what looks to be some SLAM BANG recipes, perfect for this time of year! The back blurb says "Delicious recipes guaranteed to warm you up on the chilliest of days." It has such delicious recipes as "Warm Banoffie Smoothie" (ohhh Banoffie pie, you saucy minx...), "White Christmas," "Traditional Mexican Chocolate," mulled wine, other warm drinks with spirits (heck yeah!) and even homemade chai. The pictures are gorgeous, too.

To enter: Comment below and tell me your favorite food to cook up when the weather is being sheisty outside. Contest will end at 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, February 11, 2011. I will pick a winner at that time via Please make sure you include a valid email address in each entry so I know how to get in contact with you. If I don't hear back from you within 48 hours, I will pick another winner. Good luck!

For extra entries:

+1 Friend me on Twitter @DevonTheFoodie and tweet this giveaway: "Greek Chicken and Cookbook Giveaway from The Gastronomic Goddess, @DevonTheFoodie." Comment separately back here to let me know you friended me/already friended me, with your Twitter name and that you Tweeted this.

+1 "Follow" my blog by clicking the lovely button on the right side. Comment separately that you did/already do follow my blog.

+1 "Like" my facebook fan page and repost on your status regarding the giveaway and tag the fan page, and comment back here separately that you did.

+3 Blog about my post/giveaway and link it back here in a separate comment.

Greek Chicken


2-4 chicken leg/thighs, dried with paper towel and dredged in flour
1 28 oz. can of crushed or diced tomatoes
1 small onion, peeled, halved and thin-sliced
1-2 large garlic cloves, minced
large palmful of dried oregano (maybe 1-2 Tablespoons?)
small palmful of dried marjoram (maybe 1-2 teaspoons?)
small palmful of cinnamon (maybe 1-2 teaspoons?)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
Large palmful of sugar, to taste


Preheat oven to 375 F.

Heat a large cast iron or steel Dutch oven on the stove to medium-high heat. Add olive oil, and when heated, add flour-coated chicken to pot. Brown on both sides for a few minutes, then remove from pot to a nearby plate.

Add sliced onions and minced garlic to the same pot, stirring, cooking through until fragrant and translucent.

Add your tomatoes to the pot, stirring well. Throw in your oregano, marjoram, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and stir again. Make sure you scrape up any bits from browning the chicken on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon while stirring. If you used diced tomatoes, this next step is optional. I used diced and mine were rather large "dice" so I used a quick whiz of the immersion blender to make the sauce more cohesive, but still with a "rough" texture. You do not want this completely pureed to death. Add chicken back to the pot, spooning the sauce all over, put a lid on it, and stick it in the oven for about 45-55 minutes, until your chicken is meltingly tender and the sauce has reduced slightly.

Plate your chicken, but add the palmful of sugar and the pats of butter to the sauce and stir thoroughly. The sugar helps to take the acidic bite off the tomatoes, and the butter lends a bit of richness to the sauce. Spoon the sauce over chicken.

I recommend serving this with a Greek salad and plain rice, or you can substitute your water for chicken broth when making the rice. Add some butter or olive oil (just a bit) to separate the grains and for taste. Spoon any extra sauce over the rice as well. Enjoy!