Greek Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Roast Potatoes
This is home-style Greek cooking that transports me back to the kitchen I grew up in. The lemon, garlic, rosemary and oregano whisked in olive oil caramelizes with the pan juices as the dish roasts giving off the most intoxicating aroma. I serve it with Greek Green Beans and Tomatoes.
Little tubers. I especially like waxy, moist Yukon Golds in this recipe but any smallish, thin-skinned potato with low to medium starch like new potatoes, Yellow Finns or red-skinned will do. In the version pictured above I bought a mix of purple, red and yellow potatoes.
To enhance the lemon and garlicky flavors prepare the recipe through step four a few hours before you plan to roast. Keep the dish covered in the refrigerator until about half hour before you put it in the oven then take it out and let it come to room temperature.
If you can’t find un-waxed lemons scrub them in warm water with a stiff brush to get the wax off. Some people recommend washing them in soapy water but I’m not so sure about that.
And finally, the cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces and how closely packed in the pan the chicken and potatoes are. You can use all thighs as I did or legs and thighs, or a whole cut up chicken. Check to see if the breasts are done about 10 minutes before the dark meat pieces. I’ve cooked this with small thighs and it was done in 50 minutes and with big meaty ones that took an hour and a half.
3 lemons, un-waxed and organic
⅓ cup (75 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6-8 cloves garlic finely chopped or pressed*
¾ teaspoon coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
6 large, bone-in, chicken thighs with skin
6-8 Yukon gold (or other smallish potatoes) potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
¼ cup water or white wine
*Ok, I know there’s a divide between people who chop or mince their garlic and those who press. I use whatever method I think works best for a recipe. As this is a marinade I want the strong garlicky flavor pressing gives. Take a look at this article by Felicity Cloake, a delightful food writer in the UK, who tests all kinds of foodie things for The Guardian. Here experiments with chopping, mincing and pressing are an entertaining read.
Preheat oven to 355°F or 180°C
1. Thinly peel rind from one lemon and chop fine.
2. Juice that lemon and two more.
3. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, rind, rosemary, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl
4. Place chicken pieces and quartered potatoes in a roasting pan. Pour lemon mixture over chicken and potatoes turning to coat on all sides. If you have time let marinate for 3-4 hours (even an hour will be better than no time).
5. Place chicken and potatoes in oven, pour marinade and water or wine evenly over all. Stir to coat. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and turn potatoes. Baste with pan juices.
6. Bake for additional 25 minutes. Small thighs and breasts will probably be done. For larger pieces, turn potatoes and chicken pieces. Baste with pan juices.
7. Bake for another 20 minutes and remove from oven. To brown chicken a bit more, place pan under broiler for about 3 minutes.
8. To Serve, place chicken pieces and potatoes on a platter. With a metal spoon scrape up all the crispy bits from the bottom of the pan and pour all the juices and bits of garlic, lemon and spices over the chicken and potatoes. Enjoy!