Saturday, February 23, 2008

Greek Chicken with rice pilaf

We ate this a few weeks ago, but I'm including it now in my blog.

This recipe is a personal favorite. My music teacher in elementary school was born in Greece. (Or maybe her father was? Or her grandfather? Whatever, she's Greek.) She gave me this recipe after a church potluck supper many years ago--it's some of the best chicken I've ever had!!

Another thing to love about it: this isn't very messy to make. I like to marinate in a plastic bag and throw in the chicken. There's very little cleanup involved.

This recipe is very close to my heart; I have a great relationship with this woman even though I've been out of elementary school for nearly 10 years. Also, since she has deep Greek roots, I know it's authentic! I know many women look for 'true' ethnic recipes, and this one definitely fits the bill.

 Greek Chicken
(Not at all adapted from my favorite teacher)

1 whole chicken, cut up
Juice from 2 or 3 lemons
1 clove garlic
2 T. oregano
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Marinate clean pieces of chicken in lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic overnight (preferably), or for at least three hours. When ready to bake, cut the butter into small pieces and place on top of chicken. Bake uncovered at 325 for 1 hour. Baste with juices in pan. Serve with rice pilaf.

Notes:
  • Since we don't have a juicer, I found a bottle of Minute Maid lemon juice that had just the right amount--3 lemons. It saved me a bit of time AND I didn't have to deal with acidic fruit.
  • This easily serves a family of four. If there are only two of you (ahem), consider a smaller chicken and adjusting the cooking time, or be prepared to eat this meal more than twice to polish off the leftovers.
  • I marinate this overnight in a plastic bag. When you're done marinating, take the chicken out, pour out the marinade, and throw away the bag.
  • I used pieces of garlic and a sprinkling of garlic powder. The garlic came in a small jar found in the produce aisle.
  • Even though there are other spices and they all mix together, this has a very strong lemon flavor. Consider using smaller amounts of lemon juice and more butter if the taste of lemon turns you off.
  • We served this with rice, but it goes well with baked potatoes, too.
  • Warning: this can be messy to eat! It's part of the fun, but have plenty of napkins on hand.

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