Lemon chicken

Baked chicken with a light lemon marinade brings a welcome relief from the indulgence of holiday treats and dishes.

The Pastry Chef's Baking
Marinade chicken thighs or drumsticks with lemon, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, seasoned with salt and pepper and bake. Serve with your favorite vegetables or atop a bed of lettuce.

It's that time of year when I temporarily switch over from dessert recipes to "real food" recipes. It's partly because I've been baking so much over the holidays that yes, even I burn out on baking and sugar.  Don't worry, that particular insanity really does pass (give me another week or so).  In the meantime, I still have to eat and as part of every new year, I make a concerted effort to cook for myself and stop eating out or getting takeout for my sustenance.  Actually, I've been getting better at cooking for myself (not necessarily the results, just the act of cooking) and as has been the theme with real food recipes this year, Pinterest provides a lot of possibilities.

Case in point is this recipe for lemon chicken  I found on Pinterest from Juju Good News. This is a healthy rendition of lemon chicken where the main ingredient really is lemon. I still have a bunch of lemons from my mom's lemon tree and she keeps asking if I need more. Since I'm not baking, I decided to repurpose the lemons into a savory dish in an attempt to use up the bounty.  Plus, my friend Hongpei gave me a rosemary plant for Christmas so this had the added bonus of using a fresh herb I already had. 

If you make the recipe as is, this is a pretty healthy choice, even healthier if you leave off the butter. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and had half a piece over a bed of salad greens (squirt of lemon as the dressing) for my dinner.  I know, I know, you think someone's hacked my blog and this couldn't possibly be me. Would it help if I said I followed up that singularly healthy dinner with a chocolate chip cookie baked in a ramekin and topped with vanilla ice cream?  See, it really is me.

In any case, if you make this recipe, I don't advise using chicken breasts.  As I've discovered (more than once but I keep forgetting), they dry out too easily. I baked mine a trifle too long so yup, they were a bit dry.  There isn't much "sauce" although the lemon does permeate the chicken nicely, especially considering I marinated it overnight. So stick with the thighs or drumsticks per the original recipe.

However, all is not lost if you do end up with sauceless, slightly dry chicken. I searched for and found a recipe for lemon sauce (bonus: it used up more lemons).  I may have to stock up on lemons after all the next time I go to my mom's. This sauce is reminiscent of the sauce for lemon chicken in Chinese restaurants and is also thick, thanks to the cornstarch.  Don't be afraid to go big on the lemons – you want that nice lemon flavor.

Lemon chicken

From Juju Good News

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (I used chicken breasts)

2-3 tablespoons melted butter

Thinly sliced lemons, for garnished

1. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zipper-lock plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake well to blend. Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, pressing out excess air and sealing once more. Refrigerate and let marinate for 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degree F. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish, skin-side up, reserving the leftover marinade. Brush the top of each piece of chicken with melted butter.

3. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned. Halfway through baking, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken pieces in the baking dish. Once fully baked, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with lemon slices and serve.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Lemon chicken
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today