Allergy season in the San Fernando Valley is, by far, my least favorite time of year. It’s now been a month since my spring-time symptoms kicked in, and I’ve been feeling pretty lousy the entire time: Itchy and watery eyes, non-stop sneezing, postnasal drip (with congestion, which I don’t understand), loss of smell, and the worst part, for me, are those dreadful hours when I loose my sense of taste.
I’m currently taking two different prescription medications that definitely help ease the symptoms, but living with three dogs (who sleep in the bed) only adds to the problem. Peter and I will never get rid of our dogs (aka our “kids”), and honestly, most of the time I just feel really grateful that seasonal allergies are my only health issues.
But last week, on top of dealing with my sensitive sinus problems, I came down with a nasty, head cold. I didn’t even know it was a cold for the first few days because I hadn’t had a good night sleep in weeks, and already felt drained and depressed. I tried to shake the blues by drinking extra cups of green tea, reading my current favorite book on the sunny porch out front, and also by taking extra walks with the pups.
When I woke up Thursday morning still feeling gloomy, I suddenly remembered that one thing that was missing from my days. Talking aloud to myself (with my dogs tucked in snugly beside me), I sat up in bed and said, “cook, stupid”.
Because I was suffering from both allergies and a head cold, I hadn’t cooked a proper meal all week. Hot tea and cereal for breakfast, cold meds for lunch and “frozen entrées” for dinner. No wonder I felt like crap. Physically, I wasn’t getting any real nutrition, and I’d forgotten to do the one thing every day that makes my spirits soar.
I then decided to make one of my very favorite, super EASY one pan meals. Greek Lemon Chicken with Roasted Garlic and Potatoes. I first had it when I visited friends in the Greek Islands over twenty years ago, and it’s always a comforting plate of food. And as you can imagine, I felt amazingly better after just one bite.
Greek Lemon Chicken w/ Roasted Garlic and Potatoes
3 1/2 to 4 pounds of chicken pieces (I prefer thighs and legs) with skin.
3 medium lemons (juiced, but save lemon halves)
3 pounds of baby potatoes (your favorite)
1 tablespoon of oregano
2 to 3 teaspoons of salt (to your liking)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 medium heads of garlic
1/2 cup of olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°F
Clean the chicken and potatoes, dry then place in large baking pan.
Cut tops of garlic (be careful) to expose cloves, and set face up in pan.
Next add olive oil, the juice of 2 lemons, then rub over everything.
Make sure there’s a nice coating of oil on the bottom of pan, so the chicken doesn’t stick.
Add oregano, salt and pepper. Coat everything in the pan.
Add the last two lemon halves in pan and let bake with the other ingredients.
Now, turn chicken pieces so the skin in facing down on the pan bottom.
Cook for about 90 minutes total:
After 30 minutes, carefully remove hot pan from oven and gently turn over the chicken pieces so the skin is facing UP. This way you’ll get a nice, crispy and flavorful skin.
At the same time, turn over the potatoes and then place back in oven for 60 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
To serve: After the garlic heads have cooled, you can pop out each roasted clove with a knife and serve the sweet, mushy cloves on top of the chicken. Or, do what I did and serve the entire half of the clove itself. They’re delicious smashed into the potatoes or added to warm, crusty bread as well. The extra lemon halves (now soft and baked) can be eaten too. Enjoy.
Note: The dish is terrific on it’s own, but it’s even better with a Horiatiki Salata (classic Greek country salad). I didn’t think to get the Greek salad ingredients at the market that day, so I tossed together a side dish with things I had at home: clementines, fresh green beans, and roasted beets.
Horiatiki Salata: Recipe for Greek Country Salad
Current favorite book: “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg
“Cook, Stupid.” written by Jo Stougaard ©MyLastBite.com All Rights Reserved. No usage allowed including copying or sharing without written permission.