greek-style roast chicken, sorta; roasted potatoes, mustard

It was a pretty splendid entrée, even without the full Greek treatment it was supposed to get, meaning I didn’t have any feta cheese on hand.

And without the feta, I felt I felt I would be excused for including an element I thought was not Greek, halved roasted potatoes, specifically the 4 orphan la ratte fingerlings I had been keeping in a brown paper bag in a basket high above the spice cupboard.  I’ve just looked around on line however, and it turns out that roasted potatoes can be very Greek.

The meat was superb. It came from the same farmers responsible for our enjoying it so much the last few times we had chicken. Yesterday’s Sunday spring chicken was a last-minute choice. I picked it up at our local Eataly rather than in the Union Square Greenmarket, where I usually shop for meat, and only its flavor was dear: the cost was only $8.50 for all 4 pieces.

The recipe began with Mark Bittman’s New York Times Magazine spread on what to do with chicken parts; it appears here, although absent almost any details or quantities, since it assumes the reader has more than a little cooking experience:

Heat the oven to 450. Make a paste of minced garlic, fresh oregano, lemon zest and olive oil; slide it underneath the chicken skin. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, surround with cherry tomatoes and olives and roast, skin side up, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with a little crumbled feta and oregano and serve.

  • the chicken I prepared was four 6-ounce thighs of the, Cascun Farms‘ Cornish Cross breed, from Eataly Flatiron and, although not mentioned in the basic outline of a recipe, of course I first seasoned them with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; the other ingredients used were 2 cloves of garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm; a heaping tablespoon of fresh oregano from Phillips Farms; lemon zest from a Chelsea Whole Foods Market organic lemon; 6 Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods; and about a dozen Kalamata olives (Greek!) from Chelsea Whole Foods Market, pitted, garnished with micro chervil from Two Guys from Woodbridge [note: the garlic/oregano paste can be seen as the darker area just under the skin in the picture at the top]
  • four la ratte potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, scrubbed, skins left on, halved, tossed with a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, rosemary leaves from Phillips Farm, and a bit of dried habanada pepper, arranged, cut side down, on a small well-seasoned Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan, roasted at 450º for about 25 minutes (without the chicken thighs’ need for the higher temperature, I would normally roast the potatoes at 400º, but, if anything, the fingerlings came out better than usual at the higher temperature)

  • handfuls of washed raw light frizzy mustard greens from Campo Rosso Farm, dressed only with olive oil

There was a very small cheese course.

  • a maturing ‘Mammuth’ goat milk cheese (camembert style) from Ardith Mae
  • slices of Gran Daisy Pugliese bread from Chelsea’s Foragers Market



[the beautiful portrait of Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835), painted by Carlo Arienti before 1827, from Il Blog dei Ragazzi]