Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lemon Pepper and Rosemary Chicken

If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner that tastes like it took all day to prepare, then I have the answer for you. We eat chicken all the time.  Why? It's cheap.  If I could have steak and burgers a couple of times a week, I certainly would!  So for the chicken, I'm always trying to think of different ways to prepare it.  I decided to go with lemon pepper chicken.  We had a whole bag of lemons in the fridge and the local store had chicken thighs on sale.  Now some of you might prefer the breast (and it would work for this), but dark meat roasts up to be very tender and juicy.  Plus it was on sale for $0.98 a pound.

Now, this dish can be marinated for a short time or overnight.  The longer it's in the juice, the better.  But, as a pregnant woman who doesn't always feel like cooking, doing things in advance rarely happens.  So I threw all of this together without marinating for more than a few minutes and it turned out great.  Also, I used my cast iron skillets to cook the chicken.  You can use any pan, but cast iron is my preference.

4 lemons zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 sprigs of rosemary chopped - a little over a tablespoon when chopped (you can use 1/4 teaspoon of ground rosemary)
8 chicken thighs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I needed one large and one small cast iron skillet to cook all the chicken thighs.  Place both skillets in the oven while preheating.
  2. Put the lemon zest in a large bowl with the lemon juice.  Add in salt and pepper
  3. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  4. Coat chicken in the mixture. Make sure the skin on the thighs is stretched to cover the sides of the chicken.  Leave it to sit.
  5. Pull hot skillets out of the oven.  Add remaining olive oil to each skillet and roll them to coat. 
  6. Place each thigh in the skillet, skin side down.  I managed to get 5 in the large and 3 in the small one.
  7. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken in each pan. 
  8. Place back in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. After 20 minutes, turn the thighs over in the pan.  Turn broiler on high and place back in the oven.   Be sure to leave the pans in the middle of the oven.  If you get to close to the broiler, the skin will burn.
  10. Broil for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is completely done. Skin should be golden brown and perfectly crispy.
  11. Move chicken to a serving plate.  Separate oil from juices in the pan and place the lemony juice in a bowl.  You could reduce this and add a little corn starch to make a sauce or leave it as is and pour it over your chicken or rice. Or you could grab a spoon and slurp some up. It's very versatile!
Times may need to be adjusted if you are not using a cast iron skillet.  Just be sure to check the temperature of your meat when you pull it out of the oven. While it was cooking, I made rice and snow peas to go along with it.  This meal takes around 40 minutes to prep and cook. 

I'm sorry about not having a picture.  Our camera doesn't do evening shots very well and we kind of ate it all up so fast that there was no chicken to grab a picture of!


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