Thursday, December 16, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: Lemon Chicken Breasts

It makes total sense to me that scent is our sense most closely tied to memory. In the morning, as I get dressed with my coffee, I'll put on my perfume and the mixture of the fresh scent and the earthy coffee brings up my mom's presence so suddenly, it's like she's in the room. I am instantly transported back to my childhood, watching my mom put her makeup on in the morning, CNN on the TV. Pipe tobacco and old leather is my grandfather. And roast chicken and lemon - that's home.

This dish is more than the sum of its parts. Not that anything's wrong with its parts - chicken, lemon and rosemary. (Oh, rosemary - is there a more intoxicating herb?) It's somehow all best of a roast chicken, quickly assembled and then left to roast and fill your house with a sublime chicken smell. But at the end of just 30-40 minutes, instead of the better part of two hours, there is no frantic gravy making or chicken carving. You're ready to ladle a few pan juices on top and serve.

I cooked the chicken for 40 minutes and then let it rest for 10. My thermometer only read about 160 F when I took it out of the oven, which is why I left it for the additional 10 minutes, instead of taking it out after 30. It was very cooked - maybe just on the edge of being a little too cooked. Next time, regardless of the temperature, I am going to take it out after 30 minutes and allow it to keep cooking as it rests for 10 minutes. I can't imagine how overcooked it would have been had I tried to cook it to 180 degrees as my meat thermometer recommends.

Also, when buying the chicken, I had to have the butcher debone the chicken breasts as I couldn't get them bone-in and skin-on. Now maybe I'll have to actually make my own stock!

I served it with basmati rice, as Ina recommends, and her Roasted Summer Vegetables.

Lemon Chicken Breasts:
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tbs minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 1/3 dry white wine
  • 1 tbs grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
  • 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp salt and pour into a 9×12 inch baking dish.
  3. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific post friend!!! Did you send it in to BB? I LOVE this one!!