Diana Ciobanu’s Oregano Chicken

Another recipe I got when I was working at UCLA. Diana is from Romania and of course, she makes dishes that are new to us and we cannot wait to try it when we have potlucks. Lucky that she shares the recipes on all the dishes she brings, just like everyone else.

I believe I tasted this recipe during a 50th birthday party of another coworker. 50th birthday parties were big in Brentwood, and there was this tradition of passing on the Black Rose. You get to keep the Black Rose (and take it to your 50th birthday travels/celebrations, and take photos for the Brentwood collage) until someone else turns 50, and you have to endorse the Black rose to them. I thought that one day I will get to travel with that rose, but I moved so I guess I will not.

This chicken though, is a staple at my house. I love how the salty capers complement the lemon chicken dish perfectly. A big salad and freshly cooked rice will round out this meal wonderfully.

8 chicken breasts, cut into big pieces

1/4 cup lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried crumbled, oregano

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup sliced olives or capers

Zest of 1 lemon

Original method:

Place chicken in a large bowl. In another bowl, place lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour over chicken pieces and marinate at least 1 hour.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Add olives or capers and bake 10-30 minutes more.

Sprinkle with lemon zest before serving.

Lazy method:

I do this all the time! 😊

Place everything but the olives/capers, and lemon zest in a saucepan. Add about a cup of water in the saucepan. Simmer until liquid is almost gone and chicken is almost cooked through 20-25 minutes, adding water if necessary. Add olives/capers and simmer 5-10 minutes more, until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with lemon zest before serving.

This is a great recipe to have on hand since chicken breasts go on sale every once in a while where I live. When that happens, I am happy to make a couple of different dishes out of a package of chicken breasts, that way I would only have to heat dinner for the next day or so.

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