This was the first thing I ever cooked all by myself! After watching and helping my mother for many years of course.. And it’s one of my biggest favorites! And the reasons are obvious:
Crispy-skinned tender chicken: check. Soft, “little caramel” potatoes: check. Delicious combination of herbs: check. Awesome olive oil with lemon and garlic: check! And I say “little caramels” because this is the compliment we use in my family when the potatoes are so perfectly cooked that feel caramelized. It’s like a cooking skill scale. 🙂
I usually cook this chicken for a Sunday lunch, and EVERY time I realize, all over again, how much I love it!
OK, let’s do it!
Preheat the oven at 240ºC (460ºF). Peel and cut the potatoes big enough to be cooked in the oven. Peel the garlic and cut it in two or three pieces. Put them in the oven tray and season with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Mix with your hands to coat the potatoes evenly with the herbs.
Wash the chicken. You can use whatever chicken piece suits your taste, or even the whole bird. (If you decide to use the whole uncut bird, sprinkle seasoning and hide some garlic pieces also inside the belly). But use pieces with the skin on otherwise it will dry out. You don’t have to eat the skin later (although it’ll be hard to resist..). I use the legs because it’s our favorite part.
Season with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and place it in the tray with the potatoes.
Add the lemon juice, olive oil and water. Pour them in a corner and not on top or the seasoning will wash out. Swirl the tray so that the liquids distribute evenly.
If you are using a normal oven tray like mine, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the oven. If you are using a Dutch oven with a lid then just put the lid on.
I have to warn you here that the times I give worked for me, using the normal size oven tray. If you just cook in a small Pyrex or smaller quantities then you should pay attention to the food.
Cook with the tray covered for the first 30-40min, or until the juices are boiling and the potatoes are getting soft. Remove the foil. When you remove it check if you need to add some water. There should be enough liquid or the potatoes will stick to the tray and burn. Mine looked like this:
Continue cooking for about an hour, or until the chicken is crispy and nicely brown, the potatoes soft and crunchy on their edges and there is no water left in the juices. There should be only an awesome olive oil-lemon juice! Nobody likes seeing water in their plate, and I’m really sensitive on that matter..
And the final result is beyond words delicious!
Serve the portions, bring out some feta cheese, a cold beer or wine and a warm loaf of bread. And don’t be afraid to use that bread! Dip it in that olive oil! That’s the best part!
Have a nice day!
Serves 4 people
1kg chicken (pieces or whole)
4 medium-large potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
2 lemons (the juice)
60-70ml extra virgin olive oil
100ml water, plus more in case it needs it later
Preheat the oven at 240ºC (460ºF). Peel and cut the potatoes and garlic, season with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Mix with your hands to coat the potatoes evenly with the herbs. Prepare the chicken and season with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Place in oven tray. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and water. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 30-40min, or until the juices are boiling and the potatoes are getting soft. Remove foil, check and add water if necessary, and cook for about 1h more, or until the chicken is crispy and nicely brown, the potatoes soft and crunchy on their edges and the water has been reduced.