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Greek Roast Chicken

This recipe is one of my most requested in real life and I just realized I have never out it up on the blog. I did post in on my other blog, NoReEats , a few years ago but it's time to repost it here. I don't always do it with a spatchcocked chicken and it works the same with skin on, bone in chicken pieces. Today I am making it with a couple lbs of thighs, for instance but if you are using a whole bird, spatchcock it. The olive oil really gives he lemony sauce a silky texture that is worth the effort just on its own but thankfully the potatoes and the chicken are equally addictive. 

One word about about the amount of water added- I have heard from many people that the amount needed varies due to different cooking vessels, oven temps etc so I would suggest starting with 1/2 cup the first time you make it. Just keep an eye on it and if it looks like it starts drying out , add more, 1/4 cup at a time to ensure that there is always a bit of water in the pan. You should end up with a silky sauce that naps the potatoes and coats the bottom of the pan.

These are very clear video Directions on spatchcocking a chicken and they are kind of funny so have a look. It's really quite simple as long as you use the right tools and don't try to do it with a butter knife and a soup spoon.

naked chicken

cut up one side of the back bone

the spine is now detached on one side

cut up the other side of the back bone

no more back bone and ready to be flattened

cut in half , washed and dried

freeze the bones and scraps for future stock!

Here is the recipe:
adapted from a recipe by Nancy Gaifyllia

*1 chicken, about 3 1/2 to 4 lbs, spatchcocked
*a large potato per person , peeled and quartered (more if you really love potatoes and your pan can accommodate more - the potatoes are the best part
the juice of two lemons
*kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*6 to 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
* at least 2 tlbs greek oregano
*1/4 cup of olive oil
*1 1/4 cups of water

Preheat oven to 425F

Season the chicken and potatoes with salt and pepper and arrange in a heavy baking dish, or like me, in a large, heavy cast iron skillet. Pour the olive oil and the lemon juice over everything and mix the potatoes thoroughly before scattering the garlic cloves over them along with oregano. You can either leave it skin side up the whole time, or start it off skin side down and then flip it halfway through.

Pour the water in carefully at the side of the pan, being careful not to pour it over the chicken at all.

Roast it like that for about 20 minutes to half an hour and then flip the chicken skin side up and roast for another half an hour or until the temp in the deepest part of the thigh registers about 165F. It will rise more after you take it out of the oven and nobody is going to die.

flip chicken skin side up halfway through 

The lemon, olive oil and chicken juices make the most wonderful sauce that mops the potatoes - a little sinful, yes,  but sinful is a good thing now and then, no?

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