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.
Traybake, a savory, one-pan meal cooked on a baking sheet in the oven is a home chef’s friend. This simple vegetarian traybake combines several pantry staples—hoisin, soy sauce and garlic—with broccoli and tofu and yields a hearty, satisfying main.
A 475°F oven develops the right amount of flavorful char on the broccoli and cooks the florets to a pleasing tender-crisp texture. While steamed rice is the usual accompaniment, we went a step further and made Vegetable Fried Rice.
A bit short on the hoisin sauce, we decided to make up the 1/4 cup deficit by including oyster sauce. The end result was less sweet and more to our liking.
Don’t skip the baking-sheet prep. Be sure to line it with foil and mist it with cooking spray. The sugar in the hoisin makes things a little sticky in the oven. The foil and cooking spray help ensure the broccoli and especially the more fragile tofu release from the baking sheet.
14 oz. container firm OR extra-firm tofu, drained, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices and pressed dry
Toasted sesame seeds, to serve
Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin, soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil. In a medium bowl, toss the broccoli with half of the hoisin mixture until evenly coated. Distribute in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Transfer the remaining hoisin mixture to the now-empty bowl, add the tofu and gently toss to coat. Place the tofu on the baking sheet, arranging it in a single layer, being sure that all the slices lay flat against the baking sheet.
Roast the broccoli and tofu without stirring until the broccoli is charred and tender-crisp, about 25 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
“It’s easy to see why kafta bil sanieh, a casserole, if you will, of sliced potatoes, rounds of tomatoes and flavorful kafta (seasoned meatballs or meat patties), is Lebanese comfort food. The ingredients are shingled into a baking dish and baked until the flavors meld and the textures become deliciously succulent and tender.”
This Milk Street rendition, based on a recipe from “The Palestinian Table” by Reem Kassis, starts with a simple no-cook tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, where juices collect during baking and form a delicious sauce. To ensure the potatoes cook evenly and thoroughly, precook them by roasting them for about 10-15 minutes, enough time to begin making the kafta. If you are squeamish about lamb, use 80 percent lean ground beef instead. You can serve it with rice pilaf, but we did not.
I doubled the garlic, putting half of it in the meat mixture, the other half in the tomato sauce. To press the meat balls into 1/4″ thick discs, I used a flat-bottomed glass that was dipped into cool water between each smashing. Then I put the entire tray into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up while the potatoes cooled. This made it easier for assembly.
Speaking of assembly, it helps to start with uniform sizes for the potatoes, tomatoes and peppers. In the end, there was not enough ingredients to make 3 full rows from front to back in the baking dish, but any left over slices of veggies were just positioned in the back. Unable to buy a small can of crushed tomatoes, we chose whole peeled tomatoes and crushed them with an immersion blender.
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, not peeled, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 lb. ground lamb or 80 percent lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, halved and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
14 ½ oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 medium garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 lb. plum tomatoes, cored and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 small green bell peppers or Anaheim chili, stemmed, seeded and sliced into thin rings
Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Distribute in a single layer and roast without stirring just until a skewer inserted into the potatoes meets no resistance, 10 to 13 minutes (ours took 16 min). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Leave the oven on.
While the potatoes cook, line a second baking sheet with kitchen parchment. In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, onion, half the minced garlic, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix gently until just combined; do not over-mix.
Divide the mixture into about 20 golf ball-size portions (1½ to 1¾ inches in diameter) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each ball into a patty about 2½ inches wide and ¼ inch thick (it’s fine the patties are not perfectly round); set aside until ready to assemble.
In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the crushed tomatoes, garlic, the ¼ cup oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir well, then distribute in an even layer.
Shingle the potatoes, tomato slices, green pepper rings and meat patties in 3 or 4 rows down the length of the baking dish, alternating the ingredients. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with pepper.
Bake, uncovered, until the kafta and potatoes are browned and the juices are bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.