Lemon chicken

[pic to come]

Recently I googled BEST CHICKEN RECIPE EVER and i found this one over at FoodOnTheFood.com… (originally from a cookbook called American Masala)

Good Lord they dont lie. I’ve made this recipe a good 8 times since finding it and I have never, EVER made one dish that many times.

  • 8 chicken pieces (legs and thighs)[We’ve used a whole chicken, breasts or just legs – all have worked well]
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar [we use Trader Joes Gold Quality Balsamic]
  • 2 lemons, zested, 1 juiced, and the other cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2-½ tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar [i used less because lemon candy on top of chicken is wierd to me. I also add some salt to this mix]
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter [sometimes i use 3 Tbsp… you know… for my health but my husband says it doesn’t taste as good]

For the Marinade:

  1. Prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar with half of the lemon zest, salt, and 2 tsp. of the ground pepper.
  3. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 20 minutes [works well] or overnight.
  5. Mix the sugar with the remaining lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes.
  3. Melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter, and place chicken skin-side-down in the pan along with the remaining marinade. Cook until the chicken is browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, and then flip each piece over and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Sprinkle some of the lemon sugar and remaining ½ tsp. of ground pepper over the chicken and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is completely cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, about 25 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from oven. Cut remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter into small pieces and scatter around chicken. Pour lemon juice over everything. Once butter is melted, serve with pan sauce drizzled over the chicken and lemon wedges on the side.

good to know:

  • The marinade always looks like WAY too little but somehow it is always the perfect amount.
  • Have some sort of bread on hand to soak up every single bit of juice because it is THAT good.
  • Leftovers of this arent nearly as good as when its first out of the oven so eat up!

Source: FoodOnTheFood.com and American Masala by Suvir Saran and Raquel Pelzel.

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Beet Tzatziki

Oh Anna Sortun…. you are my favorite chef in the whole wide world. This recipe is wonderful on its own with bread or alongside her whipped feta with sweet and hot peppers. Not only are they STUNNING plated together (fuchsia and orange) but they are the perfect compliment in taste.

I highly recommend Sortun’s book “Spice, Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean” as well as her Cambridge restaurant Oleana and her bakery Sofra. Her food continually shows me what good food is supposed to taste like.

(Makes about 2.5 Cups )

  • 1 Cup roasted, shredded red beets. (directions below)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic [you are using this raw so make sure to chop it small!]
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice [about 1/4 lemon]
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk plain yogurt. [I use greek yogurt]
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill [I have to use dried dill sometimes – not as good but it works]

Roasting Beets:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Wash the beets
  3. Trim the root ends off of the beets so that they stand without rolling around
  4. Rub the beets with a little vegetable oil and place them in a small heavy roasting pan or skillet. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, pour in 1/2 cup water and cover them twice with foil. Four golf ball size beets should take 45 min to roast. They should be tender when poked with a fork. (I’ve also roasted them in my toaster oven rubbed with olive oil and they’ve come out great)
  5. When cool enough to handle rub the skins off with a paper towel.
  6. Grate beets using a box grater (I use the grater on my food processor)

To Make the Tzatziki:

  1. Place the garlic into a medium mixing bowl with the lemon juice and salt. The book says to let it sit for 10 minutes to take some of the heat out of the raw garlic but i usually let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in the yogurt, olive oil and black pepper.
  3. Fold in the shredded beets and dill and reseason with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Good to know:
+The recipe says you can also boil the beets instead of baking but i find it takes out all the great flavor.
+Candy Striped beets work really well too.

Whole, Grilled Chicken

A favorite summer recipe…. This one is from Barefoot Contessa. She calls it “Tuscan Lemon Chicken” which doesn’t make clear that you roast an ENTIRE CHICKEN on the grill… which is awesome.

  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved

For the Chicken:

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side.
  2. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup.
  3. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.)
  4. When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with the dish you used for marinating. [we never did the dish thing]
  5. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  6. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

Good to know:

Source: Ina Garten’s Tuscan Lemon Chicken