We had some very large free run chicken (roosters) in the freezer and decided to make a meal of one. Kiriaki offered to make the potatoes as I had planned on boring mashed potatoes as one of the vegetable sides (although, soaked with yummy homemade gravy, mashed potatoes aren’t so boring). What Kiriaki came up with was brilliant! The potatoes were an awesome side to our roasted chicken and were done in the oven while the chicken was also occupied therein.
Potatoes are a staple in Greece and are commonly called “patates.” This tuber vegetable was introduced to Greece by “Irish Philhellenes” (William Bennet Stevenson in particular) – Irish who went to Greece to help with the Greek War of Independence. And while the Irish have long held a love affair with this tuber, the Greeks took things to a second level in preparing it to make it extra yummy. How Ioannis Kapodistrias, Governor of Greece, convinced Greeks to use the potato is another story…
Patates Riganates is a well known and common dish in Greece, with the addition of oregano (rigani), mustard, garlic and lemon. If you plan to make it (which you should), be sure to use a good bold Greek Oregano like KirIan’s – or the oregano flavour will likely be disappointing and overpowered by the other ingredients. Choosing Kirian Greek Oregano will ensure that the bold taste comes through when cooked with the other ingredients while roasting the potatoes. The Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum) is very important to the basis of this recipe; in fact, there are only one or two other dishes that include the name “riganates” in Greece.
But enough of that – you want the recipe for these amazingly prepared potatoes:
INGREDIENTS – What You Will Need (For 3 to 4 people, depending on appetite):
- 1kg / 2.2lb medium sized potatoes, peeled
- 1 tbs dry Kirian Greek Oregano
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced ( to taste )
- The juice of 1 medium freshly squezed lemon (about 4 tbs )
- 2 tbs prepared yellow mustard (we used French’s)
- 125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste )
We cut our potatoes lengthwise, half lengthwise, and do the same with the two new pieces that come up. Then cut them horizontally to have wedges similar to the photo:
Preheat the oven at 390 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius)
We place our potatoes in a heavy baking pan (uncovered casserole dish/ceramic is preferred- but pyrex will also work) and sprinkle with Kirian Greek Oregano. We add our mustard and cover with the lemon juice. We add our chosen quantity of minced garlic, salt and pepper and cover with the olive oil. Finally, toss very well to coat with the oil (Alternatively, we can work all the above ingredients in the blender and make a paste, then toss the potatoes to coat all over).
We cover the pan with aluminum foil and put it in the middle rack of the oven.
We bake for 1 hour, remove the aluminum foil, and keep baking for another 30-40 minutes (depending on how much golden/brown we want our potatoes).
We are sure you will absolutely love those tasty flavorful potatoes that can go alone or with just everything!
It went deliciously with our roasted chicken, and even was great when we added Ian’s homemade gravy:
As far as a recipe for the roast chicken and gravy? Ian’s trying to figure that out as there is no written recipe; everything is done by taste and approximations, but we’ll do our best to come up with something!
But follow the Patates Riganates recipe by Kiriaki, and you won’t go wrong!