Vibrant flavours of the Mediterranean add a Greek accent to this comfort food dish. The Greeks are the masters of succulent, marinated meats, and this chicken is coated in a garlicky, zesty marinade, and flavoured with fragrant herbs such coriander, juniper berries and bay leaves, before being fried. Served with fried oregano sprigs and extra lemon to squeeze over the top, it’s best eaten with a shot or two of ouzo.
- 1 x 1.6 kg whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (see Note)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 60 ml (¼ cup) ouzo or dry white wine
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 4 juniper berries, bruised
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
- 8 oregano sprigs
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
- lemon wedges, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 3 hours
Place chicken, olive oil, lemon juice, ouzo, garlic, onion, bay leaves, juniper berries, coriander seeds and half the oregano in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours to marinate.
Drain chicken and discard marinade. Place flour in a shallow bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and dust chicken in flour. Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 160ºC (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 20 seconds). Add dark meat pieces (thigh, drumsticks, wings) to the pan and cook for 10 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and keep warm.
Add white meat pieces (breast) to pan and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Add remaining oregano to oil, taking care as oil will spit, and cook for 30 seconds or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and serve with fried oregano and lemon wedges.
• To joint a chicken into eight, use poultry shears to remove wing tips at second joint and discard, leaving one joint attached to bird. Cut legs and thighs from chicken, then cut at joint to separate thigh from drumstick. Remove breasts and halve each widthwise. You will have 8 pieces.
Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation by Phoebe Wood. Styling by Vivien Walsh.
As seen in Feast magazine, June 2014, Issue 32.