Last October, when the Yankees were making their run to their 27th World Series Championship we piggy-backed onto the famed superstitions of former Yankee third baseman Wade Boggs (note here the omission of those other teams Boggs played for) for good luck.
Boggs believed that eating chicken brought him good juju with the Baseball Gods. We began posting chicken recipes during last year’s ALDS against the Minnesota Twins to fall into good favor with the supernatural forces all baseball fans pay homage to. We did so every game until they raised the trophy in their victory over the Phillies. The Yankees begin their title defense against none other that those Twins again tonight…so…here we go again.
We will open the series with a recipe from my friend and colleague Melissa Clark’s New cookbook, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. Melissa is admittedly not a baseball fan…but she is a New Yorker and this recipe is a cross cultural New York favorite. My grandma made one that is almost identical when I was kid. Make this one tonight. Go Yanks!
Not-My-Grandma’s Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Oregano
Time: 40 minutes
1 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed (but use a lot)
5 garlic cloves
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1. Preheat the broiler. Rinse the chicken, pat dry with a paper towel, and place in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Broil the chicken, turning once, until light golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
2. While the chicken is broiling, make a garlic paste by either using a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or mincing the garlic with a heavy knife, then using the flat side to smear and mash the garlic and salt into a paste. Alternatively, you can make the paste in a blender, if your blender can handle such a small amount. Stir the lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper into the garlic paste.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 425° F. Using a pastry brush or spoon, slather chicken on all sides with one-third of the garlic mixture, a sprinkling of the oregano, and a drizzle of oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, slathering on more of the garlic mixture, oil, and oregano in 2 more additions (approximately every 7 to 10 minutes). The chicken is done when it’s golden brown and cooked through. Serve with the pan juices or the tasty sludge on the bottom of the pan.