Recreating an Atlanta restaurant meal, at home 

1 meal, 4 recipes, all Atlanta

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JAMES CAMP
  • James Camp

Almost-like-Gio's Sorrento Lemon Chicken and Potatoes

"Our logo has lemons in it for a reason — this chicken is a game changer in people's lives. There are a few special steps we take. We infuse olive oil with the zest from Amalfi-style lemons for an intense flavor, and use very strong, wild Sicilian oregano. We also use very high-quality chicken, from Bell and Evans, slow roasting then basting for a few minutes in the charbroiler. And we make our fresh chicken stock every day that finishes it off — you'll want to drink every drop."

— Giovanni di Palma, owner, Gio's Chicken Amalfitano

What really kicks this dish into the swoon-worthy stratosphere is the broth that gets poured over the roasted chicken before its final run under the broiler. Di Palma may scoff at the following approach, but the results are great. We're going with breasts only to keep the cooking consistent, and to please anyone averse to hacking up whole chickens into parts. You can go out and buy a fancy lemon-infused olive oil, but using zest in addition to lemon juice for the broth here gets you pretty close.

Ingredients

• 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

• Olive oil, 2 tablespoons for the chicken, 2 tablespoons for the potatoes, 1/4 cup for the broth

• Salt and pepper

• Dry oregano, 1 teaspoon for the chicken, 1 teaspoon for the broth

• 4 lemons (1 quartered to go in with the chicken, 1 to be zested then juiced for the broth, 1 more to be juiced for the broth, and 1 to be sliced into thin rounds for garnish)

• 2 baking potatoes, rinsed and dried, sliced into 8 long wedges each

• 1 cup chicken stock (I really like the Better than Bouillon brand concentrate)

• 2 tablespoons grated Romano (or Parmesan) cheese

• 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub the chicken with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon oregano. Arrange chicken skin side up in a baking pan to cook. Throw in the quartered lemon. In a separate baking pan, toss the potato wedges with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. (The chicken and potatoes can both be rubbed several hours in advance and refrigerated.)

Cook the chicken and potatoes until the chicken hits 165 degrees, roughly 50 minutes.

While the chicken and potatoes are cooking, whisk together the broth — zest of 1 lemon, juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup olive oil, chicken stock, grated cheese, chopped garlic, and 1 teaspoon oregano.

If you have a meat thermometer, check the chicken at 45 minutes to see if it has hit 165 degrees and has a light golden color to the skin. If not, give it a few more minutes then check again.

Once the chicken is ready, pull it out and switch the oven to broil. Leave the potatoes in for a few minutes as the broiler heats up to give them an extra crisp. Give the broth another quick whisk and pour over the chicken into the baking pan. Take the potatoes out of the oven, then broil the chicken for about 3 minutes, until the skin is well browned and the broth is bubbling a bit.

For each person, place 4 wedges of potato and a chicken breast into a bowl, then spoon or pour in the sauce from the chicken pan. Garnish with chopped parsley and thin slices of lemon.

Grubbs' suggested wine pairing:

Wolf Mountain Vineyard Plenitude white blend, Dahlonega, Ga. (available at Whole Foods for $20 or at the winery)

"Karl Boegner runs one of the more impressive operations in the bounding Dahlonega hills. His white blend has just enough meat on its bones to handle the chicken, and enough acidity to match up with this Mediterranean Diet mainstay."

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