This week, my family and I were subject to the Fall’s not so pretty side – ‘germs’. When GERMS strike, I lose sight of all things autumnally beautiful and after 5 days of soups and stews, I get sick of those too (note to soup: I love you, I just need a little space right now). The good news is that we are finally shaking off this nasty cold and are on the mends. So what’s for dinner tonight?
Today I fancied something where techniques of sipping and dunking were not required. No broths, no sauces, no effort. Believe me my friends, there is such a dish, it is my Aristotle Chicken and potatoes. Before you have visions of Aristotle preparing and eating this dish, hold your horses, I gave it that name because it sounds more interesting than calling it ‘Saira’s college Greek friends cooking on a Sunday night dish’.
Looking back at my Greek friends, I can now appreciate a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ they possessed in the kitchen. They ate halloumi’s whilst the rest of us ate doner kebabs (of the fastest of foods variety), they drank ouzo whilst we drank diluted beers..getting the picture? This was their life and I was lucky to share a dorm with them!!
I love this dish, it epitomizes what Greece is famous for: olive oil, lemon, garlic , thyme and parsley. It is also very simple to make and requires you to blend the aforementioned ingredients (and few more mentioned below), marinade and bake. Also, note the Greek technique of roasting the potatoes. They are cooked with the meat in the same allowing them to very valuable flavor from the chicken.
3 lb chicken leg with skin
5 medium sized potatoes
8 cloves Garlic
1 ½ juiced lemon
1 lemon rind
1 cup olive oil
1 cup parsley
1 tsp of thyme
1) Blitz together the onion, 8 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of olive oil. Keep 1 part aside for the potatoes and the remaining 3 parts for the chicken marinade
2) Cut the potatoes into wedges and toss in the garlic and olive oil, sprinkle with salt and a pinch of thyme.
3) Blitz the remaining olive oil and garlic with parsley, black pepper, salt and 1 ½ lemon juice, lemon rind. Pour over the chicken to marinade for as long as possible (preferably 3 hours)
4) In an oven proof dish, place your chicken with the potatoes arranged around it. Cook covered at 400 degrees for 45 minutes and cook uncovered on broil (grill) for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp.
If you’re feeling garlicky, throw down a few whole cloves of garlic and place your chicken on top before roasting. Don’t worry about bad breath since it is cooked for so long and doesn’t retain the after taste and if you simply prefer to smell clinical, reach out for those Listerine strips.
Pearls of Wisdom
1. Of course, the longer you marinade the chicken, the more flavorful and juicier it will be.
2. Also, when broiling this dish, keep an eye on it as it can burn very quickly. After half way through broiling (grilling), turn the pieces over.