In Greek the word oregano means “joy of the mountain” and it’s not hard to imagine wild oregano growing on Greek mountainsides but for me it means “joy of my garden.”
I planted the Italian variety first then a few Greek oregano plants given to me by a Greek friend flourished in the garden as well. Although both are perennial plants the Italian variety was somehow lost along the way.
The Greek oregano came up early this year but sadly had to be uprooted. I’m not quite sure why it had taken on the fragrance of mint but perhaps the blame should be given to a few busy bees.
After replacing the plants I realized they weren’t growing well so prospects of drying any oregano for the winter were not looking good.
Almost miraculously small Italian oregano plants began popping up, in the garden, among the grass and even between the side of the house and driveway. It was as if the oregano fairy sympathized with my plight and randomly sprinkled oregano seeds everywhere.
I’m happy to say I have already begun drying the Italian oregano as I continue to come across more small plants appearing in the strangest of places!
Winter will be delicious!
Oregano and Lemon Barbecued Chicken
Oregano plays an important role in Italian cuisine and I find myself reaching for it more times than for any other spice or herb.
Oregano and Lemon Chicken is just one of the many dishes complimented by this fragrant herb. The chicken begins cooking in the marinade allowing it to absorb the delicious lemon oregano flavour. Once put on the grill it takes on the barbecue flavour without drying out waiting for the center to cook through.
Below are the measurements of ingredients used for 8 chicken drumsticks but can be easily adjusted to amount of chicken being barbecued or personal taste.
8 chicken drumsticks
juice of 1 lemon
About 2 teaspoons dry oregano
few sprigs fresh oregano if available when in season
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place chicken in a baking pan (preferably a throw away aluminum pan for less cleanup.)
- Add marinade ingredients and coat chicken well. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside (This can be prepared a few hours before cooking.)
- Place pan on a preheated barbecue grill and cook for about 15 minutes turning the chicken over once.
- Remove chicken from pan and place directly on barbecue grill and continue to cook occasionally brushing on the left over marinade until it’s all used up and chicken is done.
- Notes, Tips and Suggestions
If various chicken parts are used the smaller, thinner pieces may cook much quicker. Thighs and drumsticks work well.
- Length of time for cooking chicken may vary depending on size of chicken pieces.