Roasted chicken. (Photo by Claudio Schwarz, via Unsplash)
There are some Greek recipes that should be in every home cook’s repertoire. Roasted chicken seasoned with lemon and oregano is one of those.
Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Oregano, and Potatoes
1 whole organic chicken
Greek dried oregano
Greek sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Greek extra virgin olive oil (optional)
5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and halved, lengthwise
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. If your oven has a convection roast feature, use it, but raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F since the convection fan may lower the overall temperature of your oven.
Peel and halve the potatoes lengthwise and set them in a bowl with cold water to prevent them turning brown while you prepare the chicken. Rinse the chicken with cold water and place breast side up in a roasting pan with space enough for the potatoes. Squeeze the lemons and drizzle over the top of the chicken and into the cavity. Stuff the cavity with one or two of the squeezed out lemon halves. If using, drizzle with some olive oil. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and oregano, to taste. Place the potatoes around the chicken in the pan and season with salt, pepper and oregano, to taste. Roast the chicken and potatoes for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the chicken, or until the breast begins to lightly color. Then, using a fork, or two forks if the chicken is large, turn the chicken breast side down, sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano and continue roasting until the skin is golden brown, then turn the chicken again, and roast until the breast side is golden brown and the potatoes are done, another 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the chicken and the strength of the oven.
If the potatoes seem to be browning too much on one side, turn them as well and continue roasting. You may need to remove the potatoes from the baking pan if they seem to be disintegrating before the chicken is done. Remove the pan from the oven, tent the roasted chicken with foil, and let it rest about 15-20 minutes before carving. The resting time keeps the chicken moist. If there are pan drippings left, drizzle them over the cut chicken pieces before serving. Serve the chicken and potatoes with a side salad or the cooked vegetables of your choice, such as the following recipes for peas and lima beans. During the roasting process, you may need to add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan in case it dries out.
Peas and Lima Beans
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas
1 package (16 oz.) frozen lima beans
1 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high until it shimmers, add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add the peas and lima beans, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of water. Stir and cook over medium heat until the peas and lima beans are cooked through. Serve as a side with chicken, pork, or meatloaf, and as a main course with cooked bulgur, rice, or pasta. If preferred, the onion can be grated, so it cooks even faster. A rustic chop also works if no one minds large pieces of onion.
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