ISRAELI FRESH LEMON CHICKEN

October 10, 2013

(Meat; make one and freeze one)
2 chickens, cut into eighths or equivalent of boneless portions (you can remove the skin after cooking is complete)
2 onions, cut into large chunks
2 whole lemons
12 to 16 sprigs fresh oregano
8 cloves fresh garlic, halved
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste, optional
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, whole, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken in single layers, skin side up, into two 9-by-13-inch baking pans. Add the onion chunks. Slice the lemons in half lengthwise. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken. Cut each lemon half into 4 pieces; add to the chicken. Set aside 4 sprigs of oregano and strip the oregano leaves from the rest. Scatter the leaves and the stripped sprigs over the chicken. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and wine. Toss the mixture together. You can add a little flour and thicken the sauce in a small saucepan to thicken, if desired. Sprinkle the chopped olives over the chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to an hour or until the chicken is fully cooked. Transfer to platter and garnish with whole olives and reserved oregano sprigs. Each casserole will have 6-plus servings. Sometimes I add a small jar of marinated or sliced canned quartered artichokes, drained well. It’s good to freeze one of the cooked chickens.

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