This is my mom's version of oven-baked chicken. It's done the Lebanese way, which is made with tons of garlic and lemon.
To start this dish, you'll want to make my mom's chicken stock. This dish is typically the entree that accompanies my mom's Lebanese vegetable soup that I shared with you last week. You don't absolutely have to serve this with the veggie soup, although I highly recommend it. What's not optional is the use of chicken stock in this recipe. Using the stock recipe I offered to you last week, is the epitome of why this dish is so good. That stock is part of the reason why this chicken is so tender, juicy and flavorful. If you're a garlic lover, this recipe is most definitely the one for you. Also, just a FYI, this recipe is not accompanied by a video tutorial. I just didn't have enough video footage to make a video from it. Regardless, the vegetable soup tutorial is up and that's where you can see how to make this stock. Once you make the stock, the rest is super easy.
Next, we're going to prepare our chicken stock. To begin, you'll want a the legs with the thighs attached. My mom uses about 10 or 11 total legs/thighs. Make sure to clean and wash the chicken really, really well first. Pat them dry and place them in a very large stockpot.
Next, add in five or six dry whole bay leaves, four whole cinnamon sticks, seven or eight whole cardamom seeds, about a teaspoon or so of the whole black peppercorns and medium to large red onion (sliced). Add more than enough cold water to cover everything. It should be at about the ¾ line of the pot. Leave this uncovered to cook over high heat for about an hour and fifteen minutes. About halfway through or as the scum (fat and foam) appears on the top surface, skim it and place in a separate bowl to dump.
After that hour and fifteen minutes or when the stock is done, pour the stock through a strainer. Place the partially cooked chicken pieces in a separate large pan. Now, you want to reserve five cups of stock for this dish. You can use the rest of the stock for the vegetable soup or a different soup recipe immediately. Another option is to place it into a plastic storage container, cover and freeze it. That stock will last about a month or so in the freezer.
Next, you want to peel, wash and slice the russet potatoes in a medium thickness. Fry the potatoes at 375°F for about 5-7 minutes or until slightly golden and partially cooked through.
Place the potatoes onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Next, place the potatoes in with the chicken. Pour in the chicken stock that you set aside earlier. Place the minced garlic in the pan. Pour in the lemon juice. Season liberally with salt and black pepper. It's a lot of unseasoned potatoes and chicken so be sure to use a lot of salt and pepper. Mix slightly. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 400°F for about an hour, turn the heat down to 300°F, uncover the pan and cook for another 30-40 minutes.
Serve immediately! It's so good. The potatoes and chicken should be very tender.
- Chicken Stock:
- 10-11 uncooked chicken legs/w thighs attached
- 5-6 dry whole bay leaves
- 4 dry whole cinnamon sticks
- 7-8 cardamom seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 medium or large red onion, sliced
- cold water to cover
- 3 large tablespoons Vegeta seasoning
- Lemon and Garlic Chicken:
- 10-11 partially cooked chicken legs w/thighs from the stock
- 10 russet potatoes, peeled, washed and sliced medium thickness
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 20-25 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 whole lemons, juiced
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Clean the chicken legs/thighs really well and pat them dry. Next, in a very large stockpot, place the chicken in there. Slice the red onion and place it in the pot. Add in the black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, dried bay leaves and cardamom. Add in enough cold water to fill about ¾ of the pot with water.
Leave the pot uncovered and cook over high heat for about an hour and fifteen minutes. About halfway through, skim the scum (fat and foam on the surface) and place it in a separate bowl to dump.
After that hour and fifteen minutes or when the stock is done, strain the stock. Set five cups of stock aside. For the rest of the stock, use for soup recipe immediately or place in plastic storage tub, cover and freeze for later use.
Place the partially cooked chicken pieces from the stock in a large oven pan. Peel, wash and slice the potatoes into a medium thickness. Fry at 375°F for about five minutes or until slightly golden and partially cooked through.
Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain for a few minutes.
Place the potatoes in the pan with the chicken. Pour the stock that you set aside into the pan with the chicken. Season everything liberally with salt and black pepper. Pour the lemon juice and add the garlic in and mix slightly. Cover with foil and cook for about one hour at 400°F. Then, uncover the pan, turn down the heat to 300°F and cook for another 30-40 minutes.
Feel free to add more lemon, salt and pepper if needed.