Crispy Lemon-Herb Roast Chicken

a whole chicken
a lemon
a handful of fresh herbs (I like rosemary and oregano)
half a dozen gold potatoes
a yellow onion

Preheat oven to 350
Thoroughly dry the chicken inside and out with paper towels
Poke several holes all over the lemon
Fill the chicken's cavity with the herbs and lemon, pinning it closed with toothpicks
Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper and lay into a roasting pan breast-down
Cut the potatoes into wedges
Remove the paper from the onion, carefully trim the root without removing it, then cut into wedges
Toss the wedges in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper
Lay the vegetables around the chicken; if the pan is small, put the chicken on top of the vegetables
Put the pan into the oven, bake for 30 minutes, turn the chicken onto its back and roast for another 30 minutes
Turn the oven up to 400.
Do some quick math, figure 20 to 25 minutes of total cook time per pound of chicken, and cook the bird for the remaining time
Turn off the oven, crack it open, and let the bird rest about 10 to 15 minutes
Carefully remove the lemon and herbs from the chicken, slice it open, and squeeze juice over potatoes
Carve the chicken and serve with potatoes


Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt)

1 qt Full-fat Greek yogurt
half dozen Greek/Persian cucumbers
2 lemons, zested and juiced
.25 cup of good olive oil
several cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
about a teaspoon of finely chopped dill

Wash, dry, and grate the cucumber using the smallest holes on a box grater
Squeeze out as much water as possible from the cucumber, a cheesecloth really helps here
Spread out the cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt to drain
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon, garlic, and dill to emulsify
Pat dry the cucumber and add it and yogurt to the bowl and mix thoroughly
It can be served right away, but will taste better the next day after a night in the refrigerator



one package frozen phyllo sheets (thawed overnight in the refrigerator)
1 pound frozen spinach (thawed and drained in a colander overnight, then pat dried)
1 pound Greek sheep and goat milk feta, coursely crumbled by hand
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 tbs of finely chopped fresh dill
1 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
olive oil

Sweat the onions in a large pan with olive oil over medium-low heat until well softened and lightly browned
(you want to remove as much moisture as possible without burning the onions)
Add in the herbs and nutmeg, stirring for a couple minutes until they become fragrant
Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the spinach, and allow to cool
(The heat will help drive out any remaining moisture from the spinach without cooking it)
Mix the eggs, cheese, and greens well in a large bowl with your hands, set aside
Layer half the phyllo sheets (usually 10) into a glass 10x13 glass baking dish, brushing with olive oil between each sheet
Pour in the pie filling
Layer on the remaining phyllo, again brushing with oil
Gently press out any air, trim any excess phyllo, brush the top with oil, score the top with a very sharp knife
Cover the pie with a damp towel, turn on the oven to 350, and let the pie rest while the oven heats up
Remove the towel, put the pie in the oven, and bake for 45-60 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy
Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting into serving pieces
Traditionally, it is served at room temperature