Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lemon Chicken Breasts. "How Easy is That?"

Springtime and Lemons.  Works for me!   Thanks to my husband's efforts to nurture and take care of our Eureka and Meyer lemon trees, I can enjoy one of my favorite citrus flavors.  I've been enjoying this season's shows on Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa" because she is featuring recipes from her recently released cookbook "How Easy Is That?" 

This particular cookbook become one of my favorite choices when I am searching for inspiration for quick and flavorful meals.  As Ina promised, this is a very easy recipe to make, and my whole family loved it.

We have an herb garden, and our thyme is thriving.  you also need fresh garlic-- like 9 cloves!

Begin by zesting 2 lemons, and finely chopping the garlic.  Next, squeeze 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and set that aside. You need 1/4 cup of olive oil. Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown.

 Off the heat, add 1/3 cup dry white wine, lemon zest, dried oregano*, thyme, and 1 teaspoon sal. *Ina says that fresh oregano would be too overpowering.

...add the lemon juice.

Here is where I took a small detour from the recipe.  I used chicken breasts, bone-in, instead of Ina's suggested boneless chicken breasts.  Why?  I was being cheap thrifty, and decided that I didn't want to pay for boneless chicken.  After seasoning the chicken, I quickly seared them, because I wanted to be sure to have a nice brown color.

Otherwise, skip this step and pour the sauce into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Then, pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.

Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned.

 The aroma will make your family run to the dinner table.  Note: If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

 I served this with brown basmatti rice and steamed broccoli.  Delicious!

TASTING NOTES:  Next time, I'll pay extra and use boneless chicken breasts. De-boning and slicing the chicken was a bit of a hassle for me!  Plus, the presentation is much prettier with boneless chicken breasts.  I also realized that this recipe reminded of another Ina Garten recipe I've made before-- Baked Scampi!

This is a great weeknight family dinner, or can be fancy enough for a dinner party.  How easy is that?

A printable recipe is at the very  bottom of this page.

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Faith said...

Weeeeeellll I think you just solved the eternal question of what's for dinner?!!!! I love vibrant dishes like this for the spring. I think I am going to serve mine with a little orzo with sweet peas! ;)

Kate said...

Wow! Great post and a fabulous meal, Debby

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I actually like using the bone-in pieces of chicken because they're just that much more succulent. I have a whole chicken that I plan to cut up and make into a similar recipe this week.

Joanne said...

This cookbook is definitely on my to-obtain-immediately list. Ina's recipes are always so intelligent and that you find yourself asking why you didn't think of that! Love this chicken...lemon is a perfect flavoring for it!

Noelle Marie said...

spring + chicken + "Debina" = fabulous!

Allie said...

Oh Ina! So funny, I always hear her voice when I see a picture of her and especially when I was reading this post! The chicken looks perfect and juicy. She definitely knows what she is doing and so do you!

Monica H said...

I just saw Ina make this not too long ago. I intended to make it then used up all my lemons for lemon bars instead :-)

This is definitely on my list though.