Chicken with Zucchini and Black Olives

Where I grew up, there were no zucchinis.  Never tasted one until recently.  I don’t care for cucumbers and a zucchini just looks like it so I never really gave it too much attention.

My very first taste of zucchini was from a dish given by our neighbor.  She gave us a bowl of stuffed zucchinis.  It was not the greatest but at least I got to try it.  They are kosher so they cook everything for a long time.

One day while at the store, I saw these beautiful baby zucchinis.  The skin was a beautiful green color, no blemishes and very shiny. I bought just half a pound. My next step was to find a recipe that had zucchinis and I found this recipe.  The good thing with this recipe is that I had everything on hand (yes I did, even the feta cheese).  The original recipe called for boneless chicken thighs and that’s how I fixed it the first time.  But we had a guest for dinner that day so I wasn’t really able to take good photos.

On my second try, we only had chicken legs which I think works great too. The original recipe called for feta cheese sliced to half an inch cubes.  I found the feta cheese sliced too big a bit overpowering and it takes away the taste of the chicken, lemon and zucchini.  The second time around I used crumbled feta.  It just complements the dish just right and balances everything. Did I mention that the baby zucchinis were awesome?  They were sweet and slightly buttery.  Nothing like a cucumber or a squash.  It is a must try vegetable!

Here’s some more interesting facts about the zucchini.  Zucchinis are great diet food.  A cup has 10% of your daily fiber requirement.  It only has 36 calories per cup.  The fiber in zucchinis help lower cholesterol and lowers your blood sugar. It also help with constipation.  The high amounts of fiber in zucchinis aid in flushing out carcinogenic toxins in the colon and is great for the prostate. Other benefits include heart attack and stroke prevention, anti-inflammatory and lowers blood pressure. (http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-zucchini.html)

Ingredients

2  tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1  lemon, zested then sliced
1 1/2 lbs. chicken legs (you can use breasts or thighs too)
1/4  tsp  sea salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
2  medium zucchinis, sliced (do not peel them)
1/2 c black olives
1/3  cup  (about 2 ounces) crumbled Feta

Directions

Heat oven to 400° F.

Drizzle ½ tablespoon of the oil on the chicken. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.

Arrange the chicken on the pan. Top with garlic slices, lemon slices, olives and zucchinis.

Drizzle the rest of the olive oil.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the aluminum foil cover and add the feta cheese.  Put it back in the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with crusty rolls.

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