Christina Moros, 41, of Dallas has been eating her grandmother’s Greek chicken and potatoes almost her entire life. She makes it for her children as well, but, of course, it’s never the same as Yiayia’s.
“We never measure anything, but now we measure just for you guys,” says grandmother Christina Zarras, 85. “They try to make it beautiful, I try to make it tasty.”
Zarras came to the United States from Greece in 1951, and moved to Dallas from Chicago in 1975. She and her family eat this same dish – roasted chicken and potatoes soaked in lemon juice, broth and oregano – every Sunday after they attend services at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas.
The dish is simple yet tasty, featuring classic Greek flavors such as lemon, olive oil and oregano. Zarras and Moros never tire of it, and it can feed a crowd.
“It’s the easiest and fastest way to cook for somebody,” Zarras says.
Zarras has never missed a festival since she’s been in Dallas, and Moros used to dance at the festival when she was a child. “It’s a very tight community,” Moros says. Her husband, Terry, is also of Greek descent and is chairman of the festival this year.
In addition to chicken and potatoes, the festival will feature plenty of other foods, including grilled lamb chops, feta bites, classic gyros, souvlaki, dolmas, pastitsio, spanakopita, baklava sundaes and loukoumades (Greek-style honey balls). You can also try plenty of Greek wine and beer in the taverna.
Greek chicken and potatoes (Kota Me Patates)
Makes 4 servings.
3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken pieces, bone-in and skin-on (although you can do boneless as well)
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
8 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dried oregano
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange chicken and potatoes and garlic in a large baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and pour in broth.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and oregano in a small bowl until emulsified. Pour over chicken and potatoes.
Bake uncovered about 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting frequently. Chicken should be golden brown and potatoes tender.