Doing what we do best... dining

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our first (real) date

Brian & I met at the Cat's Eye Saloon in Athens. Sometime around April of 2005. He had recently graduated from OU and was still in Athens - bartending there several nights per week. I had just moved back to Athens, selling houses and positive that I'd be single forever. I mean, come on... I was 26 and moving back to a college town. I figured there wasn't enough wrinkle cream and/or work out videos to let me pass for an undergrad, therefore - screwed. Athens is not exactly a hub of the young professionals single scene. I digress...

Anyway, I reconnected with an old friend who met me out at Cat's Eye one evening. I remember seeing this short guy strolling through the bar with a swagger and confidence that appealed to me. Not enough to give me courage to ask him out.... but still quite appealing. Instead, I started finding reasons to have a drink at Cat's Eye on the most random nights.... until I figured out his schedule. That made it much simpler. I'm not a crazy stalker or anything... just a bit shy and hoping he'd make the first move. I mean, how many nights can one girl find reasons to go drinking?!? Finally --- after my close encounter with alcoholism (just kidding, Mom) --- he asked me out.

He invited me to his place for dinner & wine. I was supposed to bring a side dish. EPIC FAILURE. I attempted to make some sort of cheesy potatoes. It didn't go so well. I burnt the hell out of it. It ended up in the garbage. Now what?? Dinner in just a few hours... no side dish. I did what any girl in my position would do. Stopped by Kroger, picked up a pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream, slapped on some lipstick and headed to Brian's house. Where I deliberately didn't bring up the side dish drama. And God bless him; he never asked.

The following recipe is what he cooked for our dinner that night. Three years and several months later, the same dish was served at our wedding.
I never knew food could be so personal or evoke such a great feeling. It is so every time we cook this (like tonight!)

Feta Stuffed Chicken

You'll need:

Boneless skinless chicken breasts (however many people you're serving, that's how many you need - this recipe based on 2 large ones)
8 oz. of Feta cheese
Diced onions - about half of one
Fresh chopped garlic - we use a ton, use your judgement
Fresh chopped basil - 5-10 leaves
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup white wine
Olive oil
1 tablespoons of butter

The process:

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the cheese, half of the onions, half of garlic and most of the basil in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and pound very thin with a meat tenderizer. Meat should be about .5 to .75 inch thick.
Place the chicken in a lightly oiled baking dish. On one side of the chicken, place 4-5 heaping tablespoons of the cheese mixture. The amount you add depends on the size of the chicken breasts. Fold the other side of the chicken over the mixture. You don't need to pin it down in any way... the feta mixture will act as a "glue" to keep it together.

Atop the chicken, place the additional basil onion and garlic. Also add the wine and butter to the top of the chicken and to the bottom of the pan, to keep the chicken moist.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Baste the chicken in the wine & butter sauce every 10-15 minutes.

Serve with a green veggie (or Cherry Garcia ice cream...) and enjoy!!!


  1. Oh my god, this looks fabulous!

    What a great blog...the slaw kicks butt.

    You guys are the greatest and I have high hopes of this becoming the blog of choice!

    Don't stop,

  2. Cook's Note - Flipping the chicken might be hard. Instead try basting the chicken a few times while cooking