Greek Roasted Chicken with Okra

So what’s the Greek word for “spatchcock”?  I don’t suppose it really matters — this dish is just as yummy without the translation.  Today we’re doing a Greek-inspired recipe that combines a whole roasted chicken with okra in a delicious tomato-garlic sauce.

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This will serve four people, and takes a total of maybe two hours beginning to end.  Here are your ingredients to make the magic happen:

  • 1 whole roasting chicken, about 5-6 pounds
  • 3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz.) peeled whole plum tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 1 lb. fresh okra
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spatchcock the chicken by using poultry shears to cut out the spine, then bend the chicken open until the breastbone cracks and the bird is able to lay flat.  In a large roasting pan, lay the chicken breast side down and drizzle half the olive oil to coat it.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle on 1 tsp. of the oregano.  Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the bottom of the roasting pan with the minced garlic and hot water.  Into the oven it goes, to bake for 30 minutes.

During this initial baking period, it’s time to prep the okra.  Using a paring knife, trim the stem end of each pod to remove the hard cone, taking care not to cut into the pods as this can release the natural okra slime.  When you’re done trimming, give it a thorough wash in cold water and let it drain.

When the 30 minute bake time has finished, remove the pan from the oven and reduce the heat to 375.  Turn the chicken over so the breast faces up.  Drizzle it with the remaining oil, season with more salt and pepper, and sprinkle the rest of the oregano.  Arrange the okra around the bird and stir the pods to coat with some of the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the parsley over the whole mess, then back into the oven it goes for about an hour, maybe a bit more, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165.  Baste the chicken and okra with the tomato sauce a few times while baking.  And with that, you’re done and ready to plate.

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We munched that bird with wild abandon — okra pods and drumsticks flying everywhere.  Okay, maybe that’s a teensy exaggeration, but we really enjoyed the finished product — big happy grins all around.  This dish combines healthy and delicious on the same plate, but sadly it won’t do a thing for your Greek language skills.  Until next time:  Eat well, my friends!

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