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Spiced Roasted Chicken With Toasted Orzo

Everyone loves a great roasted chicken, and this is a My Greek Table recipe standout! In the Greek diet and Mediterranean diet, roasted chicken is often a Sunday meal. But it’s also easy enough to prepare for a midweek feast, as I did as a thank you to a friend who walked me around my new Athens neighborhood, explaining its fascinating, multilayered history. The extra virgin Greek olive oil, spices, and Greek brandy are all Mediterranean diet ingredients that make this a classic Greek recipe delicious any time of the week or year. It’s one of my favorite recipes from season 4 of My Greek Table! Serve it with a delicious Greek Xinomavro rosé from Amyndeon, the highest elevation vineyard in Greece.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large bell peppers cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized roasting chicken 3 to 4 pounds
  • ½ tsp ground cumin or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 medium onions coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups white wine
  • cup Greek brandy
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 recipe for toasted orzo with saffron and raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Cut the peppers, remove the pith and seeds, and coarsely chop them. Next, finely chop the garlic.
  3. Oil a medium to large baking dish, preferably glass or clay, with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Wash the chicken well, pat it dry and place it on the baking dish. Rub the entire chicken with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Season the chicken generously with cumin, salt, and pepper.

  4. Place the onions, peppers, garlic, and tomato, around the chicken. Top with cinnamon, white wine, Greek brandy, water, and rosemary sprigs.
  5. Place the baking dish uncovered in the hot oven and bake at 450F for 15-20 minutes until the chicken starts to brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and roast the chicken for about an hour, or until fork tender and thoroughly cooked through. Remove and serve with the toasted orzo.