Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roasted Lemon Chicken Breasts

The other day I was sitting at the bookstore trying to get some work done.
Work and cookbook perusal, that is.

While sitting next to the cookbook stacks the things you see and hear can be interesting.

There was a man who came into "my" area with a store employee. He swept up a book by a cook I can't stand. I imagined myself standing up and asking what he thought he was doing- I hate this woman. But, that's not the kind of thing I do- especially to strangers.
He went on about how great this woman was to the employee.
Fine. He's entitled to his (possibly erroneous) opinion.

A little later, two women walked in. After a quick glance at the large selection of cookbooks, one complained loudly, "WHO has time to cook these days!?"
Then she went on to complain about cooking.
My questions are:
1. Why do you care and why can't people do what they want with their time?
2. If you have such a vehement reaction to cookbooks, what are you doing in the cookbook section?

Once upon a time I had a roommate with a similar opinion. However, this roommate complained that people did things from scratch instead of using canned goods.
So what?
If someone wants to do something from scratch, why is it such a problem for you?
Who knows...

I love lemon chicken. So good.
Well, pretty much lemon anything at all.

It's a nice dish you could serve at any time, and it's fairly simple.
The next best thing to grilled lemon chicken for a year-round summery flavor.
Lemon chicken goes perfectly with couscous (you need something green too, though).

Any of the prep work you do directly effects the flavor. The only actual cooking you do is sear the chicken to get a golden crust, then you pop the pan in the oven and let it do it's thing.

Make sure you thoroughly wash the lemons (with soap!) before cutting or zesting them.

You could actually use either chicken breasts or thighs, depending on your particular meat (dark vs. light) and size preference.
Another riff on a Barefoot Contessa recipe...

Rosted Lemon Chicken Breasts
Serves 6

1/4 c olive oil, plus extra for brushing
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c dry white wine
Zest of 1 (small) lemon
Juice of 1 (small) lemon
1/2 t dried thyme OR 1 t fresh minced thyme leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
2 lemons, thinly cut into rounds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium- low heat. Add the garlic, swirl the pan on the heat for about 1 minute, and remove the pan from the heat. Combine the wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, 1 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper to the oil mixture and pour into a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and trim any excess fat and skin. Brush the skin side lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place chicken breasts skin side down in the pan and sear about 4 minutes. Do not touch the chicken at all for the first 3 and a half minutes, you want to get a nice golden sear! Once golden, remove the chicken from the pan and place skin side up in the pan with the lemon marinade. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts and nestle them all snugly together in the pan.
Top each chicken breast with one or two lemon slices and place the pan in the preheated oven. Cook the chicken about 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and cover tightly with a layer of aluminum foil. Let rest about 10 minutes while covered.
Serve chicken hot with pan juices.

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