This is a delicious chicken dish that looks much fancier than it really is. With just five other ingredients – olive oil, garlic, oregano, lemon, and carrots – the oven does all the work for you. The simplicity of using just a few produce items, mostly kept whole, makes the dish look vibrant, colorful and organic. Great food does not need to be fussy. In fact, the less fussy it is, the more the individual ingredients can shine and give off that true farm-to-table experience everyone craves. This is one of my favorite chicken dishes to make for that reason, and I hope it becomes one of yours too.
- 2 whole chicken legs, bone-in and skin-on
- 1 garlic head, sliced in half lengthwise (yes, the peel can stay on)
- 1 bunch of carrots (about 6-7), scrubbed clean and sliced in half lengthwise
- 4-6 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 1 lemon, very thinly sliced, with seeds removed
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- parsley, roughly chopped (optional, for finishing) or use carrot tops, roughly chopped (my preference)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Step 2: Season both sides of the chicken legs with salt and pepper. Use 1 teaspoon of salt per 1 lb of chicken. Place the chicken legs, skin-side up, in a large skillet.
Step 3: Arrange the rest of the ingredients by adding the garlic to the skillet, tucking the oregano around and under the chicken, and the carrots and lemon slices on top of the chicken. Season the veggies with a bit of salt. Pour the olive oil over the entire thing.
Step 4: Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Cook on the middle rack for the first half hour; then baste the chicken with the olive oil juices before continuing to cook the chicken on one rack higher for the last half hour. This chicken will not brown, but this will help give it a golden color. When finished cooking, top with parsley or carrot tops, if using. I serve it straight in the pan because I think it looks pretty :).
Note – do not throw away the oil and juices when finished eating! Strain it and store it in a mason jar in the fridge. You can use it whenever you like. No waste!