During the summer, my husband and I do lots of entertaining at the lake. When having friends for dinner, we like to serve something that is easy to prepare and that everyone will enjoy. One of our favorite things to cook and eat is a roasted Mediterranean chicken with lemons. There is not much prep work involved and leaves you plenty of time to make your side dishes.
We like to start the meal off with a meze or mezze platter. This is a selection of small dishes such as rice-stuffed grape leaves or vegetables, olives, feta or similar cheese drizzled with olive oil, baba ganoush or an eggplant salad, tzatziki, as well as other items. I posted a recipe for baba ganoush when I cooked lamb chops. Warm pita is nice to serve along side.
Roasted Mediterranean Chicken with Lemons
- One 2 to 3 lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 3 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced and heated in 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. Cavender’s Greek seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. or more salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken in roasting pan, add Greek seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Take chicken out, reduce the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the chicken with the sliced garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Top chicken with lemon slices and add the thyme, rosemary and oregano. Add the wine and lemon juice to the pan. Return chicken to the oven and roast for an additional 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees and its juices run clear when pierced. Let rest, spoon some of the pan juices over, garnish with parsley and serve.
I think a wonderful side dish is couscous or orzo.
Couscous with Dried Fruit, Raisins and Pistachios
- 1 10 oz. box of couscous
- 2 1/4 cups of water*
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 ground pepper
- 8 dried plums (prunes)**
- 1/2 c. raisins
- 1/2 shelled pistachios, toasted lightly and chopped
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
Bring water, oil, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper to a boil. Stir in the couscous, dried plums and raisins. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Fluff couscous and cool. After cooled, fluff again to remove any lumps. When ready to serve, stir in the pistachios and mint. *The water can be replaced with vegetable or chicken broth if desired. **I have also made this with dried apricots or a mixture of prunes and apricots.
We make a large platter of roasted or grilled vegetables to complete the meal. Any left over vegetables are good served at room temperature the next day or you could add them to another dish like a vegetable pie that I made later.
There are many recipes for roasting a chicken. Feel free to just add my additional herbs, spices and lemons to your favorite recipe. Everyone who has had this dinner asks how to make it. I hope you will enjoy the meal.