This chicken is an ode to my favorite blogger, Nagi. Her blog is full of incredible recipes and this One Pot Greek Chicken with Rice is no exception. An incredibly easy and scrumptious chicken and rice dish made in just one pot!!!
Guys…I have a confession to make… I have a blog crush. A BIG ONE! My blogger crush is Nagi from RecipeTin Eats.
I stumbled upon Nagi’s blog over a year ago. And I was stuck. I stalked her blog for HOURS! Nothing else mattered, not even my own blog. I looked at all her photos, I read her stories, I studied her recipes, I subscribed to all her newsletters and got all her cookbooks and I even downloaded her app. I became a Recipetin addict within a matter of hours.
I read all about her. She came from the nitty gritty financial world, where she ruled as an executive with a giant and warm smile on her face. And she suddenly decided she wanted more for herself and left the industry to become a blogger. That’s one ballsy move 🙂
Poor Nagi must have received 30 comments from me within those few hours. But I could NOT stop. I was compelled…no…possessed to keep going. I sent her emails praising her blog and her mad photography skills and was bummed I did not receive responses right away. I told you I am borderline insane. Apparently, I was so enthralled in reading every word on her blog, I forgot that she lived on the other side of the world from me in Australia. So while I was stalking…Nagi was having some one pot meal dreams 🙂
Later that afternoon as I was leaving my office, I got ALL of Nagi’s replies. ALL OF THEM! She replied to EVERY SINGLE COMMENT. And sent me an incredible email response. I was thrilled. And I read those comments over and over again. Nagi, genuinely read every single comment of mine and responded truthfully, humorously and kindly.
I have gotten to know Nagi pretty well over the past year. And I have watched her expand her enterprise over the past few months. And I can say she is so incredible. I would sometimes send her a million private messages on Facebook asking for her advice or asking her random photography questions. And even when she was in a mad hurry, she would always sketch out some make-shift diagrams on the computer and send it over to me to help me out. And if I try and praise her, I can instantly feel her cheeks getting red. Nagi is the true meaning of the world humble. She would always respond back with something like, “Oh shush, I am nothing special I just work hard and have figured out a few tips and tricks, and you can too.”
Nagi’s recipes are absolutely brilliant. They are always well thought out, beautifully photographed but most importantly they are always beloved by her. She only posts things she truly loves to eat and make and that shines through her blog. And I can appreciate more than anything.
SO… when she posted this One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice on her blog I was IN LOVE. I am sightly obsessed with rice and Greek flavors. So when I saw this gorgeous picture of the chicken and rice…I was done for!
I had been in love with my favorite Greek Chicken and Potatoes for years so I knew this would be a perfect fit for my taste buds.
So I made it…several months later…but I made it. I took a bite of the rice as soon as it came out of the oven. And it was all over for me. I just kept eating and eating and eating it. Burning my tongue, permanently blistering it most likely. But I did not care anymore. It was too good 🙂 You see what makes this dish so flipping brilliant is the sheer versatility of it! Once the ratio of rice to liquid has been achieved, the possibilities are endless! My head is already spinning with ideas!
Oh and I made a lot! Because my eyes are bigger than my stomach…clearly 🙂 So I froze it. And when I defrosted it…It was still delicious!!!! So yes it is SUPER freezer friendly!
By the way… I ended up marinading one batch over night and another batch for 30 minutes. Both times were fantastic and the difference was minimal to be honest. I did add a bit more garlic, some red pepper flakes and some more lemon…because I like to live on the edge! But here is my girl Nagi’s recipe! It’s perfection! Chef’s honor 🙂
So you know how I told you I stalk Nagi…Well I stalked her into writing all about her day and life as a blogger! And anyone can learn from her work ethic! I am happy to say I have a ton in common with her. With the exception of being an early bird. 5:30am does not sound realistic to me 🙂 But God willing if I ever become as busy as Nagi perhaps I will drag my a$$ out at 4 am 🙂
I love ya Nagi! Thank you for helping me become the photographer I hoped I would be:) Thank you for being so fantastic and for being such an inspiration to all us baby bloggers 🙂
And here you are…I present A Day in the Life of a Blogger….
- Describe your typical day.
I’m an early bird! I’m up at 5.30 / 6.00 am and I hit my Mac straight away, booting it up while my Nespresso machine heats up. It’s terrible! I’m a workaholic and it got worse when I left corporate and started working for myself!
The first thing I do is respond to cooking questions on my blog and my inbox from readers. This usually takes around 30 minutes. Typically I’ll respond to comments and catch up on reading blogs I follow at this time too, but it depends how busy my day is.
The next thing I usually do is check in on the FBC Facebook page and website, responding to messages and helping people who have posted queries. I usually do this 2 or 3 times a day – on a normal day.
I do this keyboard bashing session over breakfast. It’s a bad habit, I really want to try to break that and get back into reading the news over breakfast!
At around 8 am I usually head out for 30 minutes or so to take my dog for a walk, clear my head and plan my day. I have a lot going on at the moment and so it’s really important for me to prioritise. And priorities shift every day! I feel like I’m always putting out fires. Every time I feel like I’ve gotten on top of everything, something else happens! For example, I woke up yesterday to find that my homepage was spoilt. Which was because a new plugin I installed recently decided to act up. It took me hours to figure out what the problem was! Then I had a client who had a crisis and urgently needed a shot that afternoon.
I never thought that life as a food blogger would be so busy!
But on a day that goes to plan, I hit up my computer again at around 8.30 / 9.00 am and clear out my inbox. Delete the junk, respond to messages from clients and buyers of my eBooks. And of course, corresponding with friends. Working in an online business means there is much more electronic correspondence with friends compared to my “real” life here in Sydney which is mainly by phone or catch ups!
I check my blog for comments again because it’s around dinner time in the US (which is where most of my readers are based) and sometimes I get “urgent” questions from people while they are cooking!
I like to be in the kitchen by 10.30 am but usually it’s around 11.00 am. Then I start cooking. Cooking to shoot, developing recipes or cooking for my own meals. I try to start shooting around 1.00 pm most days because that’s when the light is ideal, then I finish shooting by 4.00 pm. Then clean up, more cooking. I like to cook in the evening not only for my own meals, but also cooking ahead to shoot the next day. But unfortunately most of the foods I like to cook do not hold up well overnight so I have to cook them on the day! If I’m cooking an involved recipe, I usually try to get a head start the night before as well.
On a normal day and handling my every-day tasks, I can comfortably cook and shoot 2 recipes and develop/test 1 or 2 recipes plus cook for myself. I would say that I usually cook 4 things every day, including my own meal.
Then at the end of every day – and sometimes first thing as well – I’ll hit the grocery store. I go to the grocery store at least once a day. My record is five times in one day. FIVE TIMES! (It was for a client shoot).
And then I take my dog out again. I’ve gotten into a routine of taking food to the homeless in my area. It just so happens they hang at the dog park! So at the end of every day, I pack up food, heat it up then take it down to them. And exercise my dog as well.
Efficiency. I love it!
The evenings are usually when I try to get on top of my social media. Scheduling out shares, responding to comments etc. It’s also when I plan my editorial calendar (which changes daily!), work on FBC, respond to blog comments again, clean out my inbox again. Edit photos, write up posts.
My days are pretty long. It would be rare for me to shutdown my Mac before 8 pm. Usually it’s 9 pm, on busy days it’s 10 pm. I often eat dinner while working.
Which is why it is so important for me to regularly see family and friends. Because when I have people over, that’s when I will actually sit down and eat a proper meal. No Mac in sight, keep my iPhone in my bag. I am really conscious about keeping a work/life balance. I know it sounds like I don’t have one, reading back over what I have written! But actually, I’m quite a social person! Probably even more so than my pre-blog life. I think because I don’t have the face-to-face people interaction that I used to have in my former life in corporate, I need more time with family and friends to make up for it!
Work hard. Play hard. That’s always been my motto! J
- How do you decide what to blog and what inspires you?
Oh, this is easy. I absolutely blog the food I love. I love cuisines from all around the world, new flavors, copying restaurant recipes and clever cooking. So many things inspire me – blogs, chefs, restaurants, cooking shows, cookbooks, magazines, seasonal produce.
So when it comes to deciding what to blog, it is whatever I “feel” like cooking. Whatever inspires me on the day I am cooking. Usually based on what I have in the fridge or what was on special at the store!
Like today. I have a chicken breast and avocado in the fridge and it’s miserable weather. I feel like soup but I also feel like something spicy. So I’ve decided to make a White Chicken Chili Soup. And last night I had these amazing Salted Caramel Truffles at a restaurant. I went to buy them and they were stupidly expensive! So I’ve decided to recreate them.
Yesterday leftover shredded beef so I made burritos. And tomorrow? Well, I just bought 3 cauliflowers for $3. So I’ll be making something with cauliflower!
- What is the most important thing you do to grow and enrich your blog?
Really sticking to what I do – “making midweek meals exciting”. I call if my “niche”. Others call it branding. Whatever you call it, by clearing defining my niche through the type of recipes I post, this is my single most important growth strategy. It always has been.
- What is the one thing in your kitchen (food or device) you CANNOT live without?
I want one of each! Food – cheese. Wait, and homemade bread. Can I have both please?
Device – my global knives. I am in love with them. 🙂
- What is your favorite type of food to cook and why?
Grilled cheese on toast. The single best invention ever. EVER.
- 1 fryer chicken, cut up into pieces or feel free to just use thighs and drumsticks (about 3-pounds)
- 2 whole lemons, zested and juiced
- 3 tablespoons of oregano
- ½ a cup of water
- 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes or more if you are feeling dangerous
- 2 tbsp olive oil, separated
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced on microplaner
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1½ cups chicken broth / stock
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Chopped parsley and lemon zest to garnish
- Combine the chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag and marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to over night.
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees
- Heat up a skillet large enough to contain the chicken and the rice, over medium heat with the 1 tbsp olive oil in it.
- Using tongs or you hands, remove the chicken from the marinade...BUT DO NOT THROW OUT THE MARINADE.
- Place the chicken skin side down into the pan and cook until brown. You may have to do this in batches. Remove and set aside.
- Remove the darkened bits from the chicken and wipe pan clean with a paper towel. I like to hold the paper towel with tongs and wipe it around so that I do not burn my hands 🙂
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and add in shallots, red pepper flakes, onion and garlic. Sweat them out. Not allowing any color to come to the veggies.
- Add in all the remaining rice ingredients and the marinade.
- Let the liquid come to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 seconds.
- Place chicken on top of the rice, nestling it in gently. Place a lid on the pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for 10 more minutes to allow the chicken to brown. The rice is done when all the liquid has evaporated.
- Remove, allow to rest for 10 minutes and fluff with a fork.
- Garnish with extra lemons and parsley.