Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

December 4, 2013

Greek Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

I do not know one Greek person who does not like this dish: Roasted chicken and potatoes (kotopoulo kai patates sto fourno). It is comforting, delicious and reliable. It was a typical Sunday noon dish and along with a salad and some cheese it makes up a complete meal, fit for company.

Today, chicken may seem a “lesser” dish to offer to guests, but that was not always the case years ago in Greece. Chickens were not so easy to come by, you either had your own hencoop which you occasionally “sacrificed” a chicken for a meal, but that was not very often as they would rather keep the chickens for their eggs. You also could find some live chickens at the open market, but they were not cheap as there were simply not many of them. There were no commercial chicken houses. And after you bought the chicken or took it from your backyard you had to deal with whole other process of preparing it for cooking… So not really an easy dish in the old days.

But the point is here, that farmers in Greece as well as all over the world, did not take their animals for granted, their meat was used mostly on holidays and special occasions, even the humble chicken.

Now, let’s go back to cooking. The best part of making this in my opinion, is when it is roasting, the whole house has an aroma of garlic and spices. The aroma for me just gives me memories of when we were expecting company at home, the anticipation and the preparations.

Now everybody has their own version and secrets for this dish, and I am sharing my mom’s. Every time she makes it, the potatoes turn out crispy on the outside and the chicken moist and tasty. This dish works well as leftovers too, you just warm up or use the chicken for sandwiches or salads.

Yes, this is a meat based dish, but meat is only part of the dish. The meal is accompanied in the summer by a generous tomato and cucumber salad or by a “greek” salad and in the winter with a romaine salad or a cabbage and carrot salad. Add some bread and cheese and you are all set. If you want to keep the balance, you can do what I do: fill half of your plate with salad, 1/4 with chicken and 1/4 with potatoes. Oh and I do not eat the skin.

But let’s talk a bit about the ingredients in here, obviously chicken and potatoes, but it is all those extra additions that make this dish healthier than a typical westernized meat and potatoes dish. First of all there is plenty of oregano on the meat and potatoes. As we know oregano has been shown to have the highest amount of antioxidants of commonly used herbs. This dish also contains garlic, another herb known for its antioxidants. Finally the olive oil also adds to the good fats and polyphenols.

The potatoes are usually peeled and cut in thick half wedges, in this case I cut them in rounds and decided to leave the skin on for some added texture.

Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Category: Entree

Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Yield: 3-4 servings

Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pound chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, legs)
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons dry oregano
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 allspice berries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven at 375 Fahrenheit (190 Celsius).
  2. Wash the chicken with some wine and dry with paper towels. Rub in pepper, oregano and a bit of salt and than brush with olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Cut the potatoes in wedges or half wedges or disks. Put in a large bowl.
  4. Add about ½ cup olive oil to 2 pounds potatoes, the lemon juice, ½ tablespoon oregano, pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix well so that all the potatoes are coated with the oil.
  5. Pour the potatoes in a pan, so that potatoes are all in one layer. Makes sure if you have cut them in wedges and that the tips are not pointing up as they may burn. Place the chicken on top. Add 2-3 allspice berries, clove and the 2 garlic cloves cut in fours.
  6. Add hot water in one corner of the pan and then tilt until there is enough water so that it covers the potatoes half way. Do not pour over the potatoes as this will rinse off the olive oil.
  7. Roast for 10-15 minutes at 375 Fahrenheit (190 Celsius) and then lower at 320 Fahrenheit (160 Celsius) for 45 minutes to 1 hour (1hr and 30 minutes for a whole chicken) until potatoes and chicken are done. Make sure potatoes are not undercooked.

Notes

If you use a whole chicken that will serve about 6 people. Stuff the chicken with the lemon peel and garlic and add some cloves to the skin.

Photo by Elena Paravantes © 2013

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18 Comments

  • Reply Nick Pantazis December 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Αχ βρε Έλενα!
    Μου θύμισες την μάνα μου…
    Νάσαι καλά!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD December 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Σε ευχαριστώ Nick. Αχ αυτές οι μαμάδες!

  • Reply Steve December 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    You don’t eat the skin? The beautiful, golden, savoury crispy skin? Αχ, βρε κοριτσάκι μου, sacrilege είν’αυτό!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD December 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

      I’m more of a potato gal!

  • Reply ioanna pavlidis December 5, 2013 at 2:36 am

    Nase kala Elena poli oreo & poli Elliniko !!!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD December 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Σε ευχαριστώ Ιωάννα!

  • Reply Virginia Karanimtsas Howard December 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    This dish takes me back to my childhood and my mother’s cooking. Thank you

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD December 12, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Your welcome Virginia! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply jalyn January 3, 2014 at 8:02 am

    how mand people can it feed

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD January 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Jalyn,
      As is noted at the end of the recipe, this can serve 3-4 people.

  • Reply David B February 23, 2014 at 2:12 am

    This recipe was excellent! Thank you very much, Elena.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD February 24, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Thanks David!

  • Reply Stuff of the Day | Emancipated Atlas April 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    […] Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes […]

  • Reply Janice May 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    My Mom was raised on a farm (US, deep South) and they also would “sacrifice” an old hen that had less egg production (those had to be boiled) or have fryers in the spring during the season for young chicks to reach the eating stage. They used to say–they all of the chicken except the cackle. Since they did manual labor on the farm, a high carb breakfast was common and they had veggies (whatever was in season) and cornbread for lunch and supper. Grandma would make gravy from anything…she used the boney parts of the chicken (back, neck, etc.) and boiled the pieces in a little water with chopped onion until she could pick it clean. So then you had chicken stock, chicken pieces, and onion in the pot, she then used a slurry to thicken the gravy (season with salt and pepper) and put that over biscuits. Nothing went to waste in that house. My husband loves this dish, but we have to limit our biscuit consumption since we do not perform manual labor. 🙂

  • Reply Janice May 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Oops…..should have stated “They used to say–they ATE all of the chicken except the cackle.

  • Reply Greek Style Roasted Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots | Olive Tomato January 16, 2015 at 2:02 pm

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