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As the story goes, my great aunt on my mother’s side used to live on the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea off the eastern coast of Greece. She grew up on a poultry farm where among other feathered edibles, they raised chickens.

The chickens were fed with the mythical blue corn grown on the west side of the island which was fed by the prevailing ocean winds and the stalks grew tall and were fertile. This was the corn that gave the chicken that flavor and texture that made the legend a fact.

During the Trojan War, the Greek warriors stopped by the island to have a feast to build up their strength for the battle to come. They ate only the chickens that were fed on the blue corn from the western side and went boldly into battle to rescue fair Helen from the barbarians of Troy.

The legendary Chicken of the Cyclades was said to be a source of power of the ancient Greeks

During a recent trip to the island, a distant relative came across this recipe that was buried in a cave. Next to it was a note, chiseled in stone that said: “Going to pick up Helen, BRB, Ulysses”

OK, I Made all that up. (“Ya think?” Said the audience,)

I don’t have an ounce of Greek blood in me and the closest I’ve been to Greece is a quaint little restaurant on the north side of Chicago with Aegean Sea wallpaper. But, I sure do love me some Greek food. Wedwand will share a dinner recently cooked in the Greek Cyclades tradition.

INGREDIENTS
4 or 5 Chicken Breasts
2 Green Peppers
1 Red Pepper
1 Vidalia Onion
Olive Oil
Garlic
6-8 Yukon Gold Potatoes
8 oz. Kalamata Olives
8 oz. Chery tomatoes
1 Cucumber
A lot of Feta Cheese
1 Package Italian Dressing mix
Oregano
Garlic powder
Italian Seasoning

Instructions

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Greek Potatoes
Quarter 6 potatoes. Peel them if you wish. Wedwand prefers no peel
Shake them up in a bag with ½ cup olive oil, 1 pkg Italian Dressing mix and garlic powder
Bake at 450 on top rack of oven for 20 minutes
Remove and place to lower rack
Reduce heat to 350 and add chicken to top rack

Greek Chicken Breasts
Slice Chicken breasts in half, length-wise and marinate in a large storage bag for an hour or more with ½ bottle or more of Greek Salad Dressing
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Coat in a 9×12 casserole dish with Olive Oil
Slice 2 Green Peppers, 1 Red Pepper and1 Vidalia Onion and add to the bottom of dish

Top with the marinated chicken breasts

Cook at 350 uncovered for 30-40 minutes. (The juice from the underlying vegetables will steam and rise making the chicken extraordinarily tender.) Crumble a little feta cheese on top when you take the chicken from the oven.
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Topping
In the meantime, while that is cooking or before, slice the cherry tomatoes and Kalamata olives in half. Slice and dice the cucumbers (peeled if you wish) and Feta cheese. Let it marinate in the remaining Greek salad dressing.

Showtime
Serve Greek potatoes on one side of the plate with the chicken on the other side.
Smother the chicken with the Greek topping mix.

Viola! This recipe will have you saying, as Ulysses did, “Keep Helen and give me a second helping!”

FOOTNOTE: In keeping with the new format, this IS Food on the First. The first Wednesday of Wedwand will be devoted to food.

Also, if you need a tip on purchasing knives on the internet, last week’s post may be for you: https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/the-lure-of-the-infomercial/

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