Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thyme - Lemon Roasted Chicken Breasts

I have a really fantastic chicken recipe to share today that will make you rethink chicken. Yes, chicken is versatile...but it can get really boring to eat it the same old ways. The recipe I'm sharing today, my friends, is anything but boring! To me, the real test of whether a recipe is a keeper is how soon do I want to make and eat it again? Well, I'm already planning to make this chicken for dinner this weekend!!
I'm not sure I can find enough adjectives to adequately describe the deliciousness of this chicken. The words juicy, lemony, and sublime all come to mind for starters. This is a very simple dish, but the ingredients combine so perfectly that you just want to keep eating it...and then hurry and make it again! This chicken is simple enough to whip up on a busy weeknight, but it's also elegant enough for entertaining. Your guests will think you spent hours cooking it, but it only takes about 15 minutes to assemble before roasting in the oven for 40 minutes.

  • 3-4 chicken breast
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 c white wine (or chicken broth)
  • zest from two lemons, juice from one, and one cut up into 8 wedges
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • salt & pepper

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add olive oil and garlic to a saucepan over med-low heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, but don't let the garlic just want to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor. Remove from heat and add the following ingredients to the saucepan: white wine, lemon zest, juice of one lemon, dried oregano, fresh thyme, and sea salt. Stir to combine. 
Step 2:  Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Depending on size, top with chicken breasts with the skin on. You can remove the skin before eating, but it allows the chicken breast to stay moist...and it bakes up pretty and golden-brown. Brush the chicken w/olive oil and season w/salt and pepper. Scatter lemon wedges among the chicken breasts. Arrange a few sprigs of thyme among the chicken pieces as well.

Step 3:  Bake the chicken for 30-4o minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts you're using. The skin should be a nice golden-brown. If you want to maximize browning, do what I did: turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes, keeping a careful eye out to make sure it doesn't burn! Remove from the oven and let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Let me put it this way: you simply MUST make this recipe, and me on this one, ok?  
This dish is as pretty to look at as it is to eat! Golden skin, juicy chicken breast, and and a lemony-garlic pan sauce! Some simple white rice would be perfect for soaking up that yummy sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. I discovered that the chilled leftovers make a fantastic salad the next day for lunch. The chicken is moist infused with flavor all the way through. 

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