When I think about classic Greek cooking, I think LEMONS!!! They can make a dish pop like nothing else. The best part of this recipe is that the lemons not only flavor the chicken, but actually caramelize in the roasting process, creating a much milder, genteel citrus flavor.
Over the weekend, we were out for dinner and my son was eating a lemon slice at the table. People around us were amazed that he was eating a raw lemon. To us, it’s totally normal and I think it’s a testament to how much I cook with lemons! Opa!! That being said, if you love citrus, but raw lemons are too harsh for your palate, you will love the milder, almost sweet flavor of these roasted lemons. If you allow them to properly roast long enough, they nearly melt away in your mouth.
As the recipe indicates, you can use shallots or red onions. I prefer shallots for this recipe, but whatever you have on hand will work. However, if you don’t have fresh lemons, wait on this recipe until you get some. It really isn’t the same if you use lemon juice because the lemons develop such an intense flavor from roasting that it would be a shame to miss out on it.
I always line my baking dish (in my house we call it the spanokopita/baklava pan) with foil. It really helps reduce clean-up time and capture all of the roasting juices.