kotopoulo lemonato me skordo
This may seem like a lot of garlic, but trust me, it slowly melts away and just becomes another thread woven into the tapestry of ﬂavours in the dish. The taste of it evokes warm memories of evening suppers I’ve enjoyed in many Greek kitchens, nothing fancy, just good, honest ingredients playing nicely together. This is a great recipe for feeding a hungry family.
12 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
10 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
3 courgettes/zucchini, quartered lengthways and then cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch slices
A generous splash of white wine
3 dried bay leaves
A handful of green and purple Kalamata olives, pitted (see Tip)
A generous couple of pinches of Greek dried oregano
½ stock/bouillon cube (chicken or vegetable)
A generous pinch of sugar
A handful of freshly chopped ﬂat-leaf parsley (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for cooking and drizzling
Bulgur Wheat & Vermicelli Noodles or boiled rice, to serve
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then fry them skin-side down in a little olive oil over a high heat in a large, ovenproof frying pan/skillet, turning once to ensure they are golden all over. (You may need to cook them in batches.)
Remove from the pan, reduce the heat to very low and pour away most of the chicken fat leaving a tablespoon or two. Add all the garlic and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally, ensuring it doesn’t burn. After about 5–6 minutes, add the courgette, cook for a few minutes and then pour in the wine. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half then add the sugar, bay leaves, olives and oregano. Add 250 ml/1 cup of water with the stock cube and stir it in to dissolve.
Return the seared chicken thighs to the pan, skin-side up, trying not to get the skin wet. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon all over the chicken. Cut the other lemon into quarters and arrange the wedges sporadically in the pan. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top of the chicken, season again and place the whole pan in the preheated oven for about 35–40 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, scatter fresh parsley over the top, if using, and serve. Personally, I like to bring the whole pan to the table. This is good served with Bulgur Wheat & Vermicelli Noodles (Pougouri) or just a bowl of boiled rice.
Tip: Pitted olives tend to be dry and ﬂavourless. It really pays to buy whole olives and, with the ﬂ at side of a blade, push down to remove the pits. But don’t get hung up on it, life’s too short. If you only have pitted to hand, use those.
Excerpted from Orexi! by Theo A. Michaels, published by Ryland Peters & Small (CAN $26.95). Photography by Mowie Kay © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.https://citystyleandliving.com/recipes
This original recipe article first appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.