Friday, March 13, 2015

Lemon & Garlic Chicken

Lemons are expensive for what you get.  The average one in the grocery store yields less than 1/4 C juice.  So I feel really guilty about not using the ones on my tree, which are three times that size and full of Meyer mildness.  Ina Garten's recipe also used more of the open bottle of champagne I had from the sabayon dessert.

You will notice that her original recipe refers to this only as lemon chicken.  Three tablespoons of minced garlic no longer counts as a minor seasoning, but a true ingredient.  What this insane amount of garlic does is blend with and balance the lemon.  They end up tasting like a hybrid ingredient, the garlic-lemon.  One does not come through stronger than the other.  It's an intriguing concept, and a way to sweeten up the lemon a little without sugar.

My servings are also smaller than hers, to reflect my portion-control approach to "dieting".  I left the same amount of sauce because I used boneless-skinless and didn't want to risk drying out the chicken.  400º is a lot for a slab of meat to handle for half an hour.

1/4 C olive oil, divided
3 Tb minced garlic (up to 9 cloves, or buy a jar of pre-minced)
2 lemons
1/3 C dry white wine
*1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
*1/2 tsp dried thyme
kosher salt and black pepper
1 large (1.25 to 1.5 lb) boneless-skinless chicken breast

1.  Zest the first lemon, then ream it for its juice.  Preheat oven to 400º.

2.  In a small saucepan, heat 3 Tb oil over medium.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and add zest, juice, wine, 1/2 tsp salt, oregano, and thyme.  Pour sauce into a baking dish large enough to hold chicken comfortably (my 8x8 was pushing it).
3.  Brush chicken breast with remaining oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Cut other lemon in 8 wedges and tuck around the chicken.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  I turned it after 15 and turned it back right side up after another 15.

4.  Cover dish with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with the lemon wedges and additional sauce.

Difficulty rating  π

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