Greek Roast Chicken

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January’s crisp, cold evenings send most of us rushing for home and a warm, comforting dinner. There’s nothing quite as restorative to body and soul as simple roast chicken, served with a generous scoop of mashed potatoes. This Greek rendition is moist, simple to prepare and refreshingly different with its luscious, lemony marinade.

This recipe comes from Sacramento’s Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, which serves this dish at its annual Greek Festival.

2–3    pounds fresh cut-up chicken pieces
1/3     cup olive oil
1/2     cup freshly squeezed  lemon juice
2        tablespoons dried oregano or
1– 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse chicken and place in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano or rosemary, salt and pepper and pour the marinade over the chicken pieces. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, turning chicken once or twice.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer chicken and marinade to a roasting dish. Roast for approximately 1 hour, uncovered. Baste meat several times during roasting; add a small amount of water if the marinade evaporates. When the chicken is cooked all the way through, transfer to a serving dish. Taste the pan juices, adding more lemon juice and salt if desired, and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serves 4.

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