This dish is known to every Greek and it’s another comfort food we all grew up with. Tender chicken with a rich lemony sauce and bread to soak it all up, this was heaven. It is also easy to make. My mom remembers this being her very first dish she made once she got married and without a recipe. An inexperienced cook at the time, this was a foolproof recipe which my dad and our guests loved.
While the traditional roasted chicken is the most common recipe, this one results in a moister chicken with the meat literally coming off the bone, plus it is very simple and requires little prep, no sautéing or marinating. By adding the potatoes with the chicken, they absorb the flavor of the chicken juices. You can also add carrots or sweet potatoes. Now these potatoes will obviously not be the crispy kind, but the soft type that have soaked all the juice. It is often made with rice as well. When I make it, the potatoes are usually first to go, so I make rice the next day and serve it with the leftover sauce.
Now you may consider making this with skinless boneless chicken breasts, but I wouldn’t. As the sauce resulting from the chicken, olive oil and lemon is important here, you will not get the flavor (and also the fat) using skinless meat. After it is cooked, the skin is soft and I remove it as I do not like the texture, and you can too, so you will not be eating it, but you do need that fat and flavor for the sauce. This sauce is in my opinion the best part of the meal, I could easily eat 5 slices of bread just by dipping in the sauce (but I won’t as much as I would like to).
The Holy Trinity of Greek Cuisine
As is traditional in Greek cuisine, meats are often cooked with the holy trinity of Greek cuisine as I like to call them: lemon, olive oil and oregano. These three ingredients obviously make everything taste good, but they also impart a good dose of antioxidants as all three ingredients are excellent sources of these protective substances.
One-Pot Greek Lemon Chicken with Potatoes – Kotopoulo Lemonato
- 1 whole chicken cut in separate pieces about 4-5 pounds
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion cut in quarters
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons red vinegar wine
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and cut in wedges I cut the wedges in half as well
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- Freshly ground pepper
- Place the chicken in a pot and add the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and mix it with a spoon.
- Add the vinegar and then add enough warm water to cover the chicken halfway (you can always add more later).
- Simmer the chicken for about 45 minutes and then add the potatoes spreading among the pieces of chicken.
- Continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes until potatoes are soft. You may need to add a bit more water, but do not add too much otherwise your sauce will be watery.
- When potatoes are done add the lemon juice and oregano and mix well.
- Serve with the sauce drizzled on top of meat and potatoes.
Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved