Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes is the one pot of comfort food common to families throughout Greece and the diaspora.
Chicken, potatoes, lemon, oregano, and olive oil are some of the most iconic components of Greek gastronomy. And they all come together to make a savory comforting meal in this Greek lemon chicken and potatoes recipe. It’s one of my favorites to make for my family and for my Los Angeles personal chef clients. Whether you want this as the centerpiece for your Sunday table, or as an easy weeknight meal, this recipe covers all those bases. Here’s what you need to know to make it well.
Use a whole chicken or at least bone-in pieces
Cooking chicken on the bone makes it flavorful and keeps it from drying out. I recommend breaking down a whole chicken into 8 pieces for this recipe. But you could also use bone-in chicken thighs, legs, or breasts. You could make this with boneless/skinless chicken, but the meat is more likely to dry out a bit.
Good extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon make all the difference
Greek food is not complicated for the most part. And the reason that it is so delicious is because of the integrity of the ingredients. This is a simple dish so focusing on the quality of ingredients helps make it shine. Using fresh lemon, and even reserving the zest for garnish or to add right before roasting will give it an extra depth of flavor. Good extra virgin olive oil will also enhance the flavors in this dish. And you will love dunking a piece of crusty bread, or mashing up potatoes to soak up the sauce.
Crisp up the skin
Crispy chicken skin is such a treat! To crisp it up use the convection setting on your oven if you have one. Additionally, you can mix 1/2 teaspoon baking powder with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle that over the chicken skin after you’ve added all the liquids to the pan before baking it in the oven.
Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes (Kotopoulo Lemonato me Patatas)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, if using fresh lemons also use the zest of the lemon
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup mustard (Dijon or yellow), divided
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, or more to your taste
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth (optional)
- 2 pounds potatoes, gold preferred
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
- 2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, 1/8 cup mustard, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1 teaspoon each salt and peeper.
- Combine chicken with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to as long as overnight.
- When you're ready to cook: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut potatoes into wedges. If you're using gold potatoes, you just need to scrub them and don't actually have to peel them (unless you want to).
- Remove chicken from the marinade, set aside. Reserve the marinade.
- Add an additional teaspoon each of salt, oregano, and pepper to the marinade along with 1/8 cup mustard. Thoroughly toss potatoes in the reserved marinade.
- Transfer potatoes to an oiled roasting pan in a single layer if you can. Combine excess marinade with chicken broth and pour into the pan, aiming to get the liquid around/between the potatoes — not on top of them. There should be a layer of liquid in the bottom of the pan.
- Cover with foil and roast at 425ºF (convection if you have that on your oven) for 20 minutes.
- Uncover. Place chicken skin side up on top of the potatoes in the roasting pan. Roast for 25 minutes until chicken pieces register 165ºF on the breast and potatoes start to brown. It's ok if the legs/thighs register up to 185ºF.
- Serve chicken with potatoes. Spoon sauce in the pan over both. Garnish with additional lemon. If you see that the bottom of your baking pan is starting to dry out, you can add additional broth/water to keep it from burning.
To crisp up the skin, mix 1/2 teaspoon baking powder with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle that over the chicken skin before baking.
I often add some onion powder, and garlic powder for an extra kick.
This is a classic, traditional dish and it is a staple in our house. We sometimes like to zest some of the lemon over the chicken and potatoes to really enhance the lemon flavor.
Thanks, Nick! Yes!! Lemon zest all the way. I always use it in addition to the lemon juice.