Time for the MENA Cooking Club Challenge of the month! This month, the country is Syria. While typing the name of the country, my fingers tremble. What a beautiful country it was… due to reasons best unknown, the country is in tatters. Their citizens are migrating away from their own little space and hoping for a better life. The 3-year-old who washed ashore Turkey fails to go away from my eyes despite having happened more than three months ago. All we can do is make dua and have sincere hope that the Almighty’s Help comes very soon, InShaAllah…
I guess I don’t write much… I am lost for words, seriously… but go ahead straight to the challenge. This month, our host is Jumana from Taste of Beirut and we were given three choices – Sharab Tamr Hendi, Aqras Helweh and this one that I decided to choose to cook for the challenge. The tamarind drink is something that we find it served at the Syrian pavillion at the Global Village. I have never bought it from there, but I have had it during the Iftar buffets during Ramadan and wanted to replicate it at home. But knowing that I have a dicey set of tongues at home, I decided to play safe and bake this chicken and potato dish. As you can see, there is equal quantity of chicken and potato in this dish – so who is the star? It is upto you – I was surprised that all at home thought the potatoes were the star! We totally loved how the potatoes had soaked in the chicken stock and become so tender and juicy. The recipe provided had potatoes deep fried before it was baked along with the chicken, though I went a bit healthier by baking them for sometime. All I did was serve this with khubboos and it was emptied… Definitely something I would make again for lazy dinners, and also for the fact that there is hardly any new ingredient you need to get to make this super easy dish!
Syrian Oven Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
- 900 gm chicken legs skin taken off and washed
- 1 bulb garlic peeled and pounded
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp paprika powder
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 kg potatoes washed and chopped (I cut them like wedges)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Rub the garlic, lemon juice, paprika, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper into the chicken legs. Set aside till the potatoes are partly cooked.
- Toss the potatoes with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take out the pan, keep the chicken on top and sprinkle the remaining marinade all over. Bake for 25 minutes, flip the chicken and bake for another 20 minutes or till done.