Feb 8-9 Greek Roast Chicken

Feb 8   Greek Roast Chicken
Feb 9   Chicken Sopes

I love roasting chicken but I didn't to blow my roast chicken wad so early in the game and was looking around for a way to roast a chicken differently from my usual methods. I had some tatziki that had to be eaten within the next couple of days, a nice chunk of feta singing her siren song to me from the fridge and so  Kototpoulo Fournou was a clear choice. I have spent a lot of time living and working in Greece in the past and although I didn't love a lot of the food at the time, I never got tired of good, lemony, garlicky, olive oily chicken with crusty roast potatoes.

This also provided me with enough leftover chicken to make sopes on Feb 9th. There wasn't enough meat to do tacos and I always have masa harina in the cupboard so sopes were a good alternative since I only need a few tbls of meat for each one. Between this roast chicken and the sopes, I am enjoying rock star status this week with the boys.

I also can't recall the last time I spatchcocked a chicken so it made it an even better choice. I do like to say the word spatchcocked because it's an excellent sounding word and it evokes images that are much more terrible than the reality. I like a colourful word and so I am not going to butterfly my chicken, I am going to spatchcock it!
And it won't be the last time I spatchcock a chicken, let me tell you.

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?

This is the first thing I have made so far that caused both boys to express concern over the fact that I cannot make this again for dinner for the rest of the year. I assured them that I can, in fact,  make this for lunch or I can use this method and use different spices and try it with different kinds of poultry or even pork and that seemed to calm their delicate nerves a bit. To be honest, it wasn't the chicken as much as it was the potatoes. The potatoes were RIDICULOUS. The lemony olive oil and the chicken juices combine to make the most delicious sauce that the potatoes soak up and the bottoms of the potatoes get all caramelized and almost burnt in spots. They are the tastiest potatoes I can remember eating, no lie.

would you  just look at those potatoes????


  1. um I have chicken and potatoes that I was looking to use, it may have to be with this!

  2. Yum!!! I am totally going to make this.

  3. "Spatchcocked"? Who doesn't like that? and roasted potatoes, mmm, looks delish...
    I'm a big fan of crispy chicken skin and I think that I have inadvertantly discovered that the skin separates from the chicken if it is roasted at low heat (250F) or better yet if the roasting process is interrupted, I call it "capon-interruptous". You triggered that thought by going-on about spatchcocking, maybe you should explore Freudian slips as a cooking theme?

  4. Sometimes a sausage is just a sausage? Freud in the kitchen...

  5. Let's not forget, that with all these recipes, you will have to "peel your onion" and inevitably tears will follow... :'(

  6. Does the chicken wind up in one piece, or two? I can't tell from the pictures. I'm planning ot make this on Friday.


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