Monday, January 25, 2010


It was the photo that lured me into making this recipe from The Kitchn (go and look at it, because my picture sucks with a suckiness I can only attribute to the distractingly mouthwatering aroma emanating from the plate, demanding that I sit down and eat, or possibly also the second night of the 24 season premiere, with Jack Bauer demanding that I sit down and eat), although I’m also unable to resist the keywords “lemon” and “garlic” and I continue to be on the lookout for easy weeknight main dishes I can pair with more complicated side dishes, like my favorite salad. (Which I wanted to make last week because A’s mom gave me walnut oil for Christmas. The recipe calls for walnut oil in the dressing, but I’d always used olive oil in the past because walnut is expensive. It turns out walnut oil is really, really tasty, and I’ve been using it in most of our salad dressings for the past month. Thanks, B!)

When I started cooking, I suddenly realized that this was basically just a simplified version of a recipe that’s already in my repertoire, but with garlic instead of potatoes and asparagus. Thus, I assumed it wouldn’t be a keeper. I mean, I figured it would make a fine dinner, but nothing special. So I was surprised when this easy, breezy little toss-it-into-a-pan-and-bake concoction turned out to be exceedingly delicious, worthy of celebration in its own right and not just as a quick-and-dirty desperation dinner. It yields moist, flavorful chicken with little effort (and, unusually, no added fat), and we enjoyed it so much that A mentioned it several times in the following days (“You know, that chicken we had the other night was really good…”).

So it turns out that this is, after all, a keeper. It was great with The Salad, but I found myself wishing for a side dish of potatoes (maybe these), the better to soak up extra super-lemony, super-garlicky juices.

8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken (1 whole cut-up chicken, or 4 halved breasts, or 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks)
3 lemons
15 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Wash the lemons, slice them in half, and juice them. Place the lemon halves and juice in a 9-by-12-inch baking dish with the garlic cloves. Arrange the chicken pieces in the dish, skin side down, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and half of the thyme. Turn the pieces over so that they are skin side up, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining thyme.

3. Put the dish in the oven and bake the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. When the skin gets crispy and the meat is cooked through, it’s done.

Serves: 4
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: Good


She Reads She Writes said...

Hey Jenna. How lemony-tasting is this? (For me, the more lemony the better. But Maya is anti-lemon [gasp], so if the lemon flavor is strong, I'm afraid I'll have to pass this one by. Please, someone, explain to me how my daughter doesn't like lemon and my son doesn't like cheese.)

J said...

Aw, the thought of either a cheeseless or a lemonless life makes me sad! This IS pretty lemony-tasting, so you should probably give it a miss until Maya learns to understand the awesomeness that is lemon.