Monday, August 19, 2013

Lemon Pepper Chicken

I often talk about favorites, but lemon is really at the top of my list.  It's so versatile.  I am still in search of the perfect lemon dessert.  Might have to work on that this week.  

But in the meantime, chicken is a perfect match for lemon and pepper.  You could add spices to this, or other accompaniments, but honestly, the minimal flavors in this dish are what make it so perfect.  They don't contend with one another, but compliment each other.  And you really can't beat a dish that is made in one pan.

The key to this dish is not only the correct amount of seasoning, but also the technique in cooking the chicken.  I probably shouldn't admit it, but I love chicken skin..turkey and duck too.  There is something about the salty, fatty taste of crisp skin that is comforting.  Maybe nostalgia from days gone by of big family holiday dinners and fighting over who gets the skin.  Luckily in my house, nobody else quite appreciates it the way I do.  Anyways, I cook them uncovered.  They are perfectly moist and the skin is perfectly crisp.  

Lemon Pepper Roasted Chicken

2 lbs. chicken thighs
3 lemons, cut into slices (about 2 inches thick) and then cut in half
6 shallots, sliced into quarters
fleur de sel
freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place chicken thighs in the pan.  Place the lemons and shallots evenly over the chicken, lightly squeezing the lemons before you place them in.  Generously salt and pepper and then lightly drizzle with olive oil.

Place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes, then rotate the thighs so they cook evenly.  Cook an additional 20-25 minutes or until the thighs are done, around 160 degrees if using a meat thermometer.  If you don't have one, 40 minutes really should be sufficient, especially if your oven temperature is correct.

Remove thighs and scoop out some of the shallots to enjoy with them.

Salt and pepper additionally if you choose.

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