An Alabama favorite that features old-world flavors in a wholly American way
Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama, is known far and wide for its Greek baked chicken, a super flavorful dish of marinated and roasted chicken with tons of herbs and lemon — a reflection of the chef’s Greek heritage and Alabama upbringing. Once our editors tried the dish on a recipe-research trip, we knew we had to create a version that home cooks could make whenever they couldn’t get the real thing.
Our first order of business was determining which herbs to use in the marinade. After experimenting with fresh herbs, dried herbs and even dried herb blends, we found the best balance with fresh thyme, fresh rosemary and dried oregano, which packs a more pungent punch than fresh. Rather than finely mince the fresh herbs, we opted to simply chop them; we found that with slightly larger pieces, the bursts of flavor were more pronounced and exciting.
To make sure the marinade penetrated past the surface of the chicken, we cut 1/2-inch-deep slashes in each piece. And to achieve the lovely browning we remembered from the chicken at Johnny’s, we roasted our chicken at a relatively hot 425 degrees and gave it a blast of heat from the broiler at the end of cooking. As the chicken cooked, the marinade and the chicken juices transformed into a deeply flavorful pan sauce.
Served with the pan sauce spooned over top, this simple yet flavorful supper is a great addition to your recipe repertoire — until you can make it to Alabama, of course.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
5 garlic cloves, chopped