Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recipes: Herbed Lemon Chicken

Sometimes it's worth experimenting a bit in the kitchen. Not when you're throwing a fancy party or inviting the boss for dinner, mind you. But when it's just family, be adventuresome and try something new - just make sure you have a Plan B in case it doesn't work out. This way any failure is just a learning experience, and you can have some fun with it. And who knows, you may hit on a real success! For me, that's the story of this recipe - I wanted to try a new technique, improvised a bit with flavours I like, and voila! My husband rated this a 9/10, and only because it didn't seem right to give simple chicken a perfect 10 (which he reserves for more expensive meals). Even better, this meal costs next to nothing to make.

Herbed Lemon Chicken

3 chicken legs (back attached)
1/2 tsp. each dried thyme, basil and rosemary leaves
a pinch of salt & pepper
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. chicken broth (from bouillon cube)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°. Thoroughly wash chicken, pulling off excess fat and stretching skin away from meat to create a pocket. In a very small bowl combine herbs, salt & pepper. Divide mixture among chicken pieces and rub all over meat under the skin. Heat a shallow pan to medium-high and brown chicken (skin side down) in dry pan until crispy (3-4 minutes). Loosen chicken with spatula and transfer to broiling pan, skin side up. Bake for 55 mins at 350°. Meanwhile, remove browning pan from heat and add lemon juice, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add chicken broth, making sure all brown bits are loosened, and bring to a gentle boil. Add sugar and stir. Make a slurry with cornstarch and a bit of water, add to pan, and stir well until starting to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside. When chicken is finished cooking, reheat lemony brown sauce and serve over chicken.

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