With the holidays upon us and the sacred celebrations of many faiths, Jerusalem Lemon Garlic Chicken & Potatoes is a homage to Hanukkah and the favours of the Middle East, in a one-pan, make-ahead dish that’s truly spectacular!
Inspiration, By The Book
We have a veritable wall of cookbooks, old and new. My favourites are often not those that offer the refinement of upscale restaurant recipes, but rather those that feature cultural context and a rustic approach.
Israeli cuisine, is a fusion of Arabic and diaspora Jewish cuisine, with flavour and ingredients often associated with Mediterranean cooking. Relatively new in the world of gastronomy. It’s fresh, modern approach is grounded in tradition.
In particular, I love ‘Jerusalem; A Cookbook’, for its approach to vegetables. Flavour combinations that are at once familiar and unique.
Make It In One Pan!
Jerusalem Lemon Garlic Chicken & Potatoes maintains regional flavour but substitutes Jerusalem artichokes for fingerling potatoes for a one-pan meal that is truly SPECTACULAR. Honestly, I was thrilled with the results!
The bright freshness of lemon, tonnes of garlic and shallots, thyme, tarragon and saffron make a sensational combination. The colour is beautiful and for a one-pan meal, it presents so well it can go straight from the oven to the table.
For this recipe to be successful, you need two specialty ingredients: pink peppercorns and saffron threads. Both are often found at your local supermarket, but more and more I rely on the neighbourhood health food store for specialty spices, as they’re often a) fresher and b) more readily available.
I used a four pepper blend that I had on hand, which was equally punchy without being too spicy.
Both add essential elements to the dish, saffron for both balance and colour and pink peppercorns/four peppercorn blend for seasoning and flavour intensity. Before you put your Jerusalem Inspired Lemon Garlic Chicken & Potatoes in the oven, it will wow you with its aromatic intensity.
To crush your peppercorns you’ll need either a spice mill (I often use an old coffee grinder for this sole purpose) or a mortar and pestle. In a pinch, I’ve crushed peppercorns between two sheets of plastic wrap using the bottom of a pot.
It’s not perfect, but it works. Adapt and overcome!
Make It Ahead
The basis for the Jerusalem Lemon Garlic Chicken & Potatoes recipe is the marinade, which you make the day prior. Add your chicken and let stand refrigerated, overnight. Then roast with your potatoes and serve.
Alternately, you can roast, cool and re-heat with great success. I roasted early morning, cooled for an hour, then fridged until the evening, before reheating thoroughly and serving. It was… perfect.
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional if using mixed peppercorns)
1pound (small) fingerling potatoes, sliced lengthways (see note)
Marinade: add shallots, garlic, lemon slices, lemon juice, peppercorns, saffron, thyme, half of your tarragon, olive oil, water and salt to a large bowl and turn lightly to mix.
Add chicken and, using your hands, toss to coat and combine. Cover bowl with cling wrap and marinate in the fridge a minimum of 2 hours – preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 425°f (220°c). Spray roasting pan well with non-stick spray. Remove chicken, in marinate from fridge and let stand at room temperature. Add fingerling potatoes to roasting pan, season with salt to taste. Now add chicken, and ENTIRE marinate to roasting pan and toss to coat well. Be sure potatoes are well coated in marinate and chicken thighs are skin up. This is your opportunity for a little food styling, so feel free to arrange some lemon slices on the chicken and cover well with herbs.
Roast at to 425°f (220°c), uncovered, for 20 minutes. Cover with tinfoil, reduce temperature to 375°f (190°c) for an additional 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and meat is finished to an internal temperature of 165°f (74°c). Serve immediately.
Feeding more folks? That’s fine, you could easily increase the chicken thighs by 2 – 4. If that’s the case, add a little extra water to maintain moisture content.
“That’s… a lot of potatoes.” Agreed. As easily as you can increase the chicken, feel free to decrease the potatoes if you’re feeding fewer than six. Also, be sure to choose teh smallest of your fingerling potatoes to be sure they’re cooked at the same time as your chicken thighs. Or you could give them a head start with about 6 minutes in the microwave before dumping everything into the pan and popping it into the oven.
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.