The Greek dish known as kotopoulo skorthato is typically called “Greek garlic-lemon chicken” in English, but the ensemble also includes potatoes, making it a delicious complete meal. OK, so we added a side of roasted broccolini to make it a more veggie-forward dinner.
For this riff, Milk Street used their trusty traybake technique—roasting the ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet in a hot oven to ensure the quickest cooking possible and to develop nice caramelization.
As a finale, toss in black olives, dill and capers to ratchet up the flavors. If using chicken breasts, try to purchase pieces that are close in size so they cook at the same rate. Since we used both thighs (for The Hubs) and breasts (for Yours Truly), we cut the breasts halves in half again, making them more uniform in size to the thighs.
Because we cooked 4 pounds of chicken pieces (25% more), we doubled the spice mixture so that we had enough to sprinkle on all sides of each piece. This meal was sooo flavorful, and not difficult at all!
Don’t use extra-large bone-in chicken breasts if you can help it; 12-ounce pieces work best. If unavoidable, keep in mind that bone-in breasts weighing about 1 pound each require 40 to 50 minutes of roasting.
4 12-oz. bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1½ lbs. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, not peeled, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
2 lemons, halved crosswise
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. drained capers
3 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh dill, divided
Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. In a large bowl, stir together the oregano, pepper flakes, 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the mix onto all sides of the chicken. To the remaining seasoning mix in the bowl, add the oil, potatoes, lemon halves and garlic, then toss to coat.
Place the garlic in the center of a rimmed baking sheet, then arrange the chicken, skin up, around the garlic; this placement helps prevent the garlic from scorching during roasting. Arrange the lemons, cut sides up, and the potatoes in an even layer around the chicken. Roast until the thickest part of the breasts (if using) reaches 160°F and the thickest part of the largest thigh (if using) reaches 175°F, about 30 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken and lemon halves to a serving platter. Push the potatoes to the edge of the baking sheet, leaving the garlic in the center. Using a fork, mash the garlic to a rough paste. Add the olives, capers and 2 tablespoons of the dill to the baking sheet, then, using a wide metal spatula, stir and toss the ingredients, scraping up any browned bits.
Transfer the potato mixture to the platter, placing it around the chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon dill.
Don’t you just love one-pan meals? Here’s one from Milk Street that borrowed some of the flavors of Greek moussaka. Although a traditional Greek Moussaka recipe has luscious layers of juicy ground beef or lamb cooked in a tomato based sauce, layered with sweet eggplants and potatoes, topped off with a creamy béchamel sauce and baked until perfectly golden, this a fantastic riff.
Here, seared flank steak is finished with a rustic sauce-like side of eggplant, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Crumbled feta cheese adds briny notes that contrast nicely with the sweetness of the vegetables and the richness of the beef. Crusty bread, rice or potatoes are good side dish choices if you’re not counting carbs.
We had both flank steak and flap meat in our freezer, and, you guessed it, I did’t realize until after the meat had thawed that I removed flap steaks. Both started with “fla” and that is all that I saw on the package so I’m giving myself an out that it was an easy mistake. In fact, since we prefer the beefy taste of flap meat, it was serendipitous! Please note that flap meat needs an extra couple of minutes in the pan to reach temperature.
Keep in mind, you don’t want to drain the juices from the tomatoes. The liquid helps form the sauce and prevents the eggplant from drying out so that the pieces become silky-soft. When slicing the flank steak for serving, make sure to slice it against the grain for the tenderest texture.
Absolutely delicious! We could wax poetic for days on what a wonderful dish it was!
recipe title=”Flank Steak with Tomato-Eggplant Ragu” servings=”4″ time=”35 min” difficulty=”easy”]
1½ lbs. flank steak or flap meat, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then crosswise
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1b. eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
14½ oz. can diced tomatoes
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped
1½ oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about ⅓ cup)
Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the steak and brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total (8-10 minutes for flap meat), flipping the pieces once. An instant-read thermometer should show 125° for medium-rare. Transfer to a moated cutting board and cover with foil.
In the same pan over medium-high, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the eggplant and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
Reduce to medium and add the tomatoes with juices, the garlic, oregano and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the eggplant has begun to break down, about 5 minutes.
Off heat, stir in any accumulated beef juices and half the mint. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain and place on a platter. Spoon the eggplant mixture on and around the steak, then sprinkle with feta and the remaining mint.