This is a meal that comes directly from our father’s memory. His mother made this hearty and tasty dinner when he was a kid and he always remembered it fondly.
Because our father grew up eating Italian food every day, he always appreciated a meal that wasn’t made of pasta and tomato sauce.
Our father tried to describe this meal to our mother and asked her to make it for him. He described it as chicken with potatoes, oregano, and tomatoes. She kept experimenting but it was never quite right. She then asked one of his sisters who said, “that chicken has no tomatoes.”
She made it without the tomatoes and he announced, “This is it! This is how I remember it.”
We now call this meal “chicken with no tomatoes” and we never add anything else. Sometimes we’re tempted to add a little garlic or onions, but we stop ourselves. The beauty of this meal is in its simplicity.
Here is what you’ll need:
* olive oil
* bone-in chicken breasts split down the middle with skin on (you can use thighs if you prefer)
* russet potatoes
* dried oregano
* salt and pepper
Adjust the amount of ingredients depending on how many people you are serving. Figure one half breast per person. We used one split chicken breast for two people. When our mother made this meal she used chicken thighs.
Cut the potatoes into rounds — not too thin, you don’t want them to cook faster than the chicken.
The key ingredient is oregano. Use it generously. It is the main seasoning for this meal.
The potatoes will absorb the juice that comes out of the chicken. If it looks like it is drying out, you can add a little water.
Serve with your favorite vegetables and a salad.
Chicken With Potatoes and Oregano
- 2 bone-in chicken breast 1 per person
- 3 russet potatoes
- olive oil
- splash white wine optional
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.
- Brush an oven-safe baking dish with a light coating of olive oil in the bottom and all around the insides.
- Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Place in the center of the baking dish.
- Peel and slice potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken breasts overlapping until the remainder of the dish is filled.
- Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes. Salt generously and crack on some black pepper.
- Pour in a splash of white wine just enough so there is some liquid in the bottom of the pan. You can substitute water for the wine if you prefer.
- Coat everything with oregano. Be generous, really pile it on.
- Cover baking dish with foil. Add a few small holes to vent.
- Place in the oven and bake for 60 minutes. Check it halfway through to make sure it isn't drying out. Add some water if it needs it. You need liquid for the potatoes to cook properly.
- Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes uncovered. The chicken is done when you poke a knife in and the juices run clear.