Feta Chicken and Love: Cooking with Kids


Cooking meals has always been a big deal in my house. Growing up, my mom cooked just about every meal. We didn’t go out to dinner or even order in very often. With a full time job, 3 kids to feed and a husband who traveled 5 days a week nearly every week, she often cooked multiple things on Sunday for us to have through the week. A home cooked meal ready and waiting without the hour long prep every night.

Helping Granny make biscuits.

As a working mom today, take-out food and delivery brings a much broader world of culinary experience right to our doors. I certainly am no stranger to the pizza joint on the corner, the Thai food place around the block or the Zomato app that helps me find the closest foodie restaurant when the mood strikes. I certainly understand the desire to only heat food up at the end of a long day but in all honesty – I am just not together enough to do a major meal prep on Sundays! So while my daughter is adept at placing an order, we do try to keep it old school and cook more days than not. Lucky for me, my husband loves to cook and shares this responsibility with me. So does our daughter.

4-15-2016 9-40-28 AM
She’s always been a helper in the kitchen.

Cooking with our daughter, we have made what could be a thirty to sixty minute chore into full on family time! Instead of cutting into the precious few hours we have in the evening together, I get to hear about her day, sing silly songs and teach her a healthy love of all things food.  For my 3 year old sous chef, it is all business. She is unsurpassed in shaking spice bottles to get all the good ingredients to the top, helping to pour ingredients, stirring things in a pot before it hits the heat and pounding pretty much anything with a meat mallet. She is also quite accomplished in folding paper towels into napkins (because we are fancy like that) and helping to set an elegant table complete with princess cups and the finest Chinet plates.

Recently she helped me cook one of our favorite meals, spinach feta chicken, and in the process schooled me on how you can eat a little bit of feta while you wait for it to be dumped into the pan. Who knew? Design etiquette AND gastronomic mastery? I think we have our next top chef!

What I really learn during our cooking time and subsequent sit-down dinner at the table is who the amazing person is my daughter is growing into. I learn how curious she is; how many ideas she has; how quickly she learns things that I explain to her; how independent and brave she is becoming and how every minute since I have had her has gone by too fast. Cooking together has become a way of disconnecting from the world, connecting with each other, teaching, learning and loving.

Please, make this dish with your little loves and watch the wonder commence!

Feta Chicken

Feta Spinach Chicken

4 chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 TBSP olive oil

1-2 large shallot diced

3-4 cloves garlic minced

¼ cup white wine

10 oz. heavy whipping cream

4 oz. Feta Cheese crumbled

8 oz. fresh spinach

Trim the fat off of the chicken breasts. Salt and pepper to taste. (I put the chicken in a zip lock bag and pound it with a flat meat mallet so it cooks more evenly and for large breasts you can usually get away with 2 and divide them to 6 oz. portions.)

Add the olive oil to a warm pan and add chicken. Cook chicken thoroughly turning 1-2 times during cooking. Set aside to keep warm.

After removing chicken, add the diced shallot and the minced garlic to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until onion is tender. Mix with left over juices and drippings in pan. Add the wine. Simmer until the wine is reduced by about ½. Add the heavy whipping cream and feta cheese. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add spinach and turn in pan enough to make it wilt. Add the chicken back to pan for 2 minutes to reheat.

Plate the chicken and divide the feta and spinach sauce between the plates, scooping atop the chicken. Serve over over wild rice.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.