When I was growing up in Greece, we used to have roasted chicken with potatoes just about every Sunday for lunch (after all, chicken was the least expensive meat around!). As commonplace as it was, "kotópoulo me patátes" (or as we've shortened it here in the States!) is also an iconic Greek dish. You place a whole chicken in an oven dish or dutch oven, surrounded by long, quartered potatoes, mixing everything with the simplest of seasonings: extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and a nice squeeze of lemon. In more contemporary versions of that classic family dinner, people have started adding garlic, mustard and the more French-inspired rosemary & thyme.
When my kids were quite young, I, too, used to cook this dish and my boys especially loved it. But for some reason, I stopped making it, as I experimented with new flavors and recipes. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw so many Greek-American food bloggers posting beautiful photos of their own versions of "kóta me patátes" and I suddenly had a wave of nostalgia for that childhood classic.
Of course, me being me, I started to play around, adding fall carrots and sweet potato, and instead of fresh lemon and oregano, I decided to use Sparoza's herbs & lemon zest cooking blend. With bay leaves, coriander, ginger, lemon verbena, lemon zest, mustard seeds, peppercorns, pink pepper, rosemary, sage and thyme, this cooking blend is a bomb of aromas!
The chicken turned out delicious, the cooking blend was just the trick to give those fantastic Greek fragrances to what could be a plain old roasted chicken. I only made it for two, since by now the kids have gone and my husband and I are empty-nesters, but it's really easy to double or triple the ingredients or use a whole chicken for a family dinner. I hope you will give it a try and will feel the same comfort we did!
2 chicken thighs with bone & skin
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1-2 inch pieces
6-8 small gold potatoes, peeled and halved if too big
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup water
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Clean well and pat dry the chicken thighs with a kitchen paper towel. Salt & pepper and set aside.
Mix all the veggies with half the olive oil, salt, pepper and 1 tsp of the Sparoza cooking blend.
Put about half a cup of water in a dutch oven. Arrange the veggies in one layer and top with the chicken thighs. Depending on the size of your dutch oven you may place everything in one layer or put the chicken on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the Sparoza cooking blend and drizzle with the rest of the extra virgin olive oil. You want everything to be nicely coated with the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
Cover and cook for 50-60 minutes depending on the oven. After about half an hour, check the water and add more if needed. Depending on the dutch oven and the potatoes, you may need more or less time, but watch your chicken...you want everything to be juicy and not dry, with a fine amount of sauce in the end of cooking. Enjoy!
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