WEEKDAY DINNERS: Greek Lemon Chicken with Rice

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you may recall the funny incident during the time my husband and I were dating and his first ‘Avgolemono (Greek Egg & Lemon Soup) experience. You know, it’s a wintery day, my mum cooks our favourite soup, Greg joins us for lunch and … and he just couldn’t stomach the lemony soup served up.

How times have changed! Now it’s a matter of ‘will there be enough soup for us to have left overs the following day!’

So when it came to preparing this recipe, Greek Lemon Chicken with Rice I didn’t hold back on the lemon. I think you’re going to love this quick and easy weekday dinner that saves on washing up, as it’s a one-pot dish delight.

Now if you want to experience the full flavour of this dish, I suggest you marinate the chicken pieces the night before – that way all the flavours will soak in. And besides, it’s one step less for the next day when you arrive home from work or school and just want to get the dinner on and put your feet up as soon as possible!

My daughter had called me and asked what’s for dinner. She was a little hesitant and wondered if she would enjoy this dish and did she even feel like chicken and rice. But once she arrived home, the citrus fragrance of the lemon was wafting through the house and I knew she would be joining us for dinner.

What I love about this dish is the rice is just as tasty as the chicken. Often we think it’s all about the meat but because of the juices of the chicken soaking into the rice and generous addition of garlic, this meal is a sure winner in our household.

So get that one pot out, sear your chicken to a light golden brown and before you know it, you’ll be sitting down to a scrumptious dinner and your family will be thanking you.

On a side note, if you were having a large crowd over the weekend and wondered how you’re going to feed them all, just replace the rice with potatoes, marinating the chicken and potatoes ahead of time and throw it all in a baking dish and bake for at least 50-60 mins in a moderate oven and there my friends you have a dish for a quick and easy weekend dinner with friends and a quick and easy weekday dinner with the rice. Winning!

GREEK LEMON CHICKEN WITH RICE

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thigh pieces

1-2 lemons, juiced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground oregano (rigani)

salt & pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 leek, thinly sliced

1 cup rice

2 cups chicken stock liquid

1 teaspoon ground oregano (rigani)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley for garnish

2 tablespoons lemon juice to pour on once cooked

Method

1.    In a separate bowl, combine chicken, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper and marinate overnight.

2.    Preheat oven to 180*C.

3.    In an oven-proof pot, add olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and sear to a light golden brown. Remove from pot and set aside.

4.    Add leek into same pot, sauté until transparent. Add rice, chicken stock, herb, spices and stir to combine. Add chicken pieces on top of rice, cover with lid and place in oven for 40 minutes. Remove lid and continue in oven for 5-10 minutes so that all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.

5.    Remove from oven, pour lemon juice on top and garnish with parsley.