I was attracted to the notion of marinating chicken thighs in yogurt, with the recipe for “Low-Fat Oven-Fried Chicken,” from The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes, by the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association. I’ve learned from my recipe experiences that yogurt + chicken = moistness. I used thighs rather than breasts, and marinated the whole bunch in a plastic zip bag in the refrigerator for 2 hours 30 minutes. This is such an easy marinating method; it enables you to “massage” the chicken every once in a while, all secure in its plastic bag.

I used butter, rather than margarine, in the breadcrumb mixture. The cup of breadcrumbs was the perfect amount to coat these thighs. The cayenne pepper in the marinade did provide a nice little flavor “kick” to the mix. I baked the thighs for 40 minutes and was indeed rewarded with moist, warmly flavored chicken. This is a good comfort-food recipe. I recommend you dazzle your dinner guests with it.

I also made the “Elegant Orzo with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts,” from All Recipes. Orzo is always a winner for me at the table -- it’s hard to resist. This is a great “salad” side dish that covers many flavor elements: pasta, vegetables, nuts, cheese. Ingredient substitutions should be easy. In fact, I used 6 oz. of escarole rather than baby spinach, and “wilted” it in 3:30. As you eat this salad, you’ll be stunned at how great it is and how basic and how simple. Pull this one together and you’ll be proud.

RECIPES: make this highly satisfying meal, full of warmth and comfort
chicken can marinate for hours and cook in less than one; the orzo can come together in less than 30 minutes
warmly flavored chicken (paprika, thyme, cayenne, garlic), along with your favorite greens, nuts, and cheese in the orzo

Next time, I’ll put together a meal with an “Asian” slant (says who?!). I’ll cook “Chinese Stir-Fried Cherry Tomatoes and Carrots with Shrimp,” from Express Lane Diabetic Cooking, by Robyn Webb, along with “Zucchini Miso,” from Allrecipes.com. Let’s see what happens, when you return to my site on Friday, September 26.