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.
15 responses to “Greek Lemon Chicken”
Hi Jo! I am very sorry about you suffering from both allergies and a head cold,
I wish I knew I would have taken care of you, and made you some comfort food.
When I was in Lebanon, we went to a Greek restaurant; they served this dish Lemon Chicken and Potatoes, I loved it, your dish looks even better the roasted garlic looks amazing in the dish. Hope you enjoyed it
I think it’s the lack of sleep that was really making me miserable, but I am so much better and can’t wait for your cooking on Saturday. x
Oh no, I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. So many people are getting sick these days. Take it easy and get plenty of rest. Though, that chicken and potatoes would make anyone feel better in a heartbeat.
Thanks. I’m feeling so much better since I’m over the head cold.
Hope you are feeling better now that you had what grandmother’s always fed a cold….Chicken! Your dish looks DIVINE and I think that I will try it right when we get up to Healdsburg next week!
Can I share my two secret weapons for allergy season? Zurtec & eye drops with antihistamines in it (either Bausch & lomb or Visine). This combo is my new found freedom to enjoy spring again!
Sending you lots of love, Tamara
Feel better SOOOOON!
I use Zyrtec-D and Veramyst… it was getting the stupid head cold ON top of the allergies that wiped me out!
I’ll definitely pick up the antihistamine eye drops today, thank you.
Great piece of writing, Jo. I rarely get sick myself. When I do, it’s usually only for a day or two, then I’m over it. I can’t imagine what Allergies must be like, but they’re obviously dreadful. 😦
It was good to read that your inner-foodie kicked in and you got around to cooking something. Food really is the cure-all for everything, especially depression. And your Greek roasted chicken dish looks like it would hit the mark no matter what ails you. That salad looks fantastic. Clementines, green beans, roasted beets — three things I’d not have thought to pair together.
Your post made me think of a couple of cookbooks I have in my collection that, while I rarely pull from them, always put a smile on my face whenever I glance through them. They’re from Dom DeLuise, and they’re called “Eat this, it’ll make you feel better” (Volumes I and II). They’re full of his family’s recipes, dating back to his Grandparents kitchen in Italy. Simple Italian home cooked food, but just reading the recipes always seems to make me feel better.
One more reason to love food. 😉
And I LOVE Dom DeLuise! I met him on the set of his movie “Fatso” as a kid, and have a terrific photo somewhere. Will send it to you when I find it.
I live in Atwater Village and also suffer from allergies — and now this heat! I empathize completely. Hang in there. Feel better. This recipe looks great. I LOVE baked garlic cloves.
Comfort food at its finest. The chicken one-disher really does look wonderful!
Sorry to hear about your allergies! Try a neti pot – they help tremendously, especially with all your pet hair. Here’s a recent NY Times article on sinus irriguation:
Oh, I LOVE my neti pot. I have the blue plastic one and also the upright bottle version. I only started using it last year, and it’s made such a difference.
Thanks for posting the link! Much appreciated.
Am I ever glad I came across your post (and your blog in general!). I have been suffering from allergies for a couple of months now, for the first time, and I was thinking it was just me who keeps losing my sense of smell and taste (horror of horrors). It’s driving me insane. I’ve been to an allergist twice and he’s prescribed some stuff which works for a while, but then this plugged nose thing keeps returning. So frustrating. I have a neti pot, too, and have been trying to use it daily, but it’s not seeming to help all that much. Anyway, I’m sorry to go on and on about this on your food blog, just relieved to hear a similar case – although sorry it’s happening to you. 🙂
Thanks for the chicken recipe, sounds very tasty! And cute pups. My Akita is like my child, too.
Jackie, I think this year has been the worst allergy season ever. I can’t imagine NOT being used to it (all my life), and suddenly having to deal with the symptoms like you are doing.
Re: the neti pot…
It works best for me when I’m in the shower. I wait until I’m almost done showering, so my sinuses get a little cleared out from the steam, then I use the neti pot.
Anyway, Thanks for stopping by MyLastBite. You are definitely not alone.
I cooked this yesterday for Saturday dinner and now on Sunday reporting back that it’s really delicious!! A great combination of Mediterranean flavors. Had leftovers tonight. Thanks Jo!