My husband is currently unemployed and I have risen to the challenge of feeding our family on 10 dollars or less for dinner. My girls are in college, but teenage boy makes up for their lack of being here. Last summer hubby and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a cruise that included Greece and the Greek flavors have grown on me. I pulled from one of my favorite sites (Budgetbytes) she has tasty recipes and calculated the cost to make the dish on her site. Her Greek Marinated Chicken recipe looked inviting. I paired this with Greek Tomato and Cucumber Salad from theMom100 and Greek Lemon Rice from themediterraneandish.
(Update: My husband has been employed again since end of May 2019 but it was a long 4 months. We are thankful to God for carrying us through that trial)
This combination of recipes made for a very tasty and affordable feast. I had kalamata olives, yogurt, and feta cheese in my fridge already. A friend had gifted me a bag of rice and another friend gave me lemons off her tree. My well stocked pantry had the orzo and I had shallots that I used instead of onions and red onions… the chicken thighs that I used were 6 dollars for 12 thighs – a deal! I did add 1 cup more broth to the rice because 2 cups of broth did not seem enough to steam two cups of rice and cook orzo pasta. I am glad I did. It was delicious. I did double the marinade for the chicken since I had so many thighs.. so I have another bag of chicken in the fridge ready to cook up later this week.
A note about the Greek Chicken – I doubled the ingredients and marinaded the chicken thighs in two zip-lock bags. Cooking up 6 thighs for the three of us to eat tonight and have another batch for later this week. Marinate them for at least 30 minutes – I did for 5 hours. I used thighs because they were really cheap – you could use any chicken pieces.
adapted from BudgetBytes.com
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 medium lemons (zest and juice)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley (originally 1/4 bunch fresh parsley)
- about 6 lbs chicken thighs (about 12 pieces)
- Combine the plain yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, cracked pepper, zest of two lemons, juice of two lemons, parsley. Place 6 thighs in a gallon size freezer bag and 6 in a second bag. Divide the marinade between the two bags – squeeze out air and close the bag. Make sure the chicken is well coated and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to a day in advance.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the chicken thighs in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the chicken skins have turned golden brown.
Greek Tomato and Cucumber Salad
adapted from theMom100.com | Serves 4
- 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, diced
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 large red onion, diced (or shallot if you don’t have red on hand)
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
In a medium bowl, combine the diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onions (or shallots), kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese.
In a small measuring cup combine the ingredients for the dressing and adjust the seasoning to taste. Pour over the veggies and stir to combine. Serve.
The Greek Lemon Rice is so good! The garlic and lemon and orzo really make this rice dish special. My husband who is not a huge fan of rice took seconds! I did increase the chicken broth to 3 cups because the original 2 cups did not seem enough to cook 2 cups of rice and 1/2 a cup of orzo. I also used more garlic and more lemon juice. Enjoy:
Greek Lemon Rice
adapted from themediterraneandish.com | Serves 8
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions, or shallots
- 1 heaping soup spoon of minced garlic
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta
- 2 lemons (zest of one lemon and juice of two lemons) After squeezing the lemon I threw the whole skin in the pot to add even more flavor!
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley (use a handful of fresh parsley if you have it on hand)
- 1 tsp dried dill
- Rinse the rice in water and place it in a quart sized measuring cup. Cover with water and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and saute the onions for about 5 minutes or until softened. Then add garlic and orzo pasta and cook stirring frequently until the pasta begins to brown and get toasty. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth, salt, parsley, and dill. Drain the water from the rice in a colander and add the rice to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let it cook for 20 minutes. Then remove from heat and allow to sit another 10-15 minutes. Stir before serving.