Monday, February 4, 2019

Weeknight Greek Chicken

Lucy has a very strange way of singing her current favorite song "Old MacDonald". She loves to get audience participation, so she always solicits the crowd when deciding what animal to sing about next. Usually this is when I'm busy trying to make dinner and Lucy will come up and ask on repeat, "And on that farm he had a.....what, Mommy? What did he have? What's on his farm? Mommy? Mommy?"

But that's not the strange part. After you  name an animal, let's say a duck in this case, she will then proceed to sing the rest of the song but always adds her own lyric at the end:

With a quack quack here,
and a quack quack there,
here a quack
there a quack
and everywhere a seagull.
Old MacDonald had a farm. 

Did you catch it? And she legitimately thinks that is part of the song. Believe me, Emma, the resident Lyric Nazi, has tried many a time to set Lucy on the path of righteous knowledge but Lucy will not be swayed. She insists that the lyric is in fact "and everywhere a seagull." And you know what? She's been singing it so often like that that I have found myself with the song stuck in my head while in the shower or driving and I am also singing it with that lyric in my head.

But you know, I see how it frankly makes sense to a three-year-old. Lucy thinks Canadian Geese are seagulls. That is another hot point of contention among her know-it-all siblings. These "seagulls" are everywhere - in the parking lots, in the playgrounds, even near my kids' school. Why wouldn't they be hanging out on Old MacDonald's farm?

And on that farm he had a chicken...

..and we ate it for dinner!

Musings on children's songs aside, I have a great weeknight recipe that is easy, simple, yet delicious enough to serve to guests! This Greek Chicken is made by marinating chicken thighs in a lemon and herb mixture and then baked in a cast-iron skillet until done. The thighs are then given the broiler-treatment to render the skin crispy and crunchy. The resulting juices blend with the marinate to create a magnificent pan sauce that can be drizzled over the chicken once served. I like to serve this with a side of couscous - which takes about five minutes to prepare - and a Greek salad. It's a meal that my kids all enjoy eating. It's an easy meal that tastes like you worked on it all day.

Greek Chicken
from Cook's Country

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
5 garlic cloves, chopped
6 (3-inch) strips lemon zest, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon juice (or use 1 tablespoon grated zest)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon pepper
3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

Combine oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, salt, oregano, coriander, pepper flakes, and pepper in large bowl. Cut three ½-inch-deep slits in skin side of each chicken breast, two ½-inch-deep slits in skin side of each thigh, and two ½-inch-deep slits in each drumstick; leave wings whole. Transfer chicken to bowl with marinade and turn to thoroughly coat, making sure marinade gets into slits. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken, skin side up, in 12-inch cast iron skillet. Using rubber spatula, scrape any remaining marinade from bowl over chicken. Roast until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove skillet from oven and spoon pan juices over top of chicken to wet skin. Heat broiler. Broil chicken until skin is lightly browned, about 3 minutes, rotating skillet as necessary for even browning. Let chicken rest in skillet for 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to shallow platter. Stir lemon juice into pan juices, then spoon over chicken. Serve.

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