Thursday, July 10, 2014

Roast Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Olives & Oregano

Redolent of the fresh fabulous flavours of Greek cuisine, this Roast Chicken recipe is a savoury celebration of Mediterranean ingredients. Bathed in an Aegean inspired lemony oregano and dijon vinaigrette, plump chicken breasts are marinated for half an hour then seasoned with chopped red onion, green scallions and tangy Kalamata olives. Finished with a flurry of dried Greek oregano, fresh ground black pepper and healthy sprinkling of kosher salt before being roasted in the oven for about and hour, the chicken breasts suffuse the kitchen with intoxicating aromas as they caramelize with the pan juices, becoming crisp and golden brown while remaining succulent and juicy on the inside. Bright and citrusy with deep concentrated flavours of roasted olives and fragrant oregano, this sensational dish is delicious served with a tangy Greek Salad and chilled white wine. Kalí óreksi!

The chicken breasts are marinated in oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, dried oregano, 
chopped red onion and scallions 

Finished with chopped Kalamata olives, salt, pepper and final flurry of dried Greek oregano, 
the breasts are roasted at 425°F for about an hour until crisp and golden brown 

Roast Lemon & Oregano Chicken Breasts with Olives and Scallions
Serves 2

2 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon, and quarter the remaining half
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp dried Greek oregano
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
6 black Kalamata olives, halved

In a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken breasts, whisk the oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons of the Greek oregano until well mixed. Using a fork, puncture the chicken breasts a few times to allow the marinade to permeate the meat, then place the breasts in the marinade and gently massage to coat. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, breast down.  

Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange the chicken in the baking dish, breast-side up, and season with the red onion, scallions, black olives, sliced lemon and fresh ground black pepper. Finish with the remaining oregano and teaspoon of coarse salt over the breasts and roast for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve the chicken breasts with the roast lemons accompanied with a Greek Salad and side of roast potatoes or lemon orzo if desired.

Greek-Style Salad
Serves 2

1 iceberg lettuce
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/8 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of your chef's knife
1 tsp dried Greek oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper

Combine all of the 'dressing' ingredients in a resealable container and shake vigorously. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and then bring to room temperature before tossing the salad. 

To assemble the salad, tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a bowl that is large enough to hold all the salad ingredients comfortably. Scatter the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, and feta over the top. Toss with dressing just before serving with the Roast Lemon & Oregano Chicken.