Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Easy Chicken Recipe

I made this last night. It's super good and super easy. This isn't the kind of recipe that needs to be exact, so adjust it for however many people you're cooking for. I baked it in the oven, but it would be a perfect grilled chicken dish for a Labor Day weekend barbecue because it's not very labor-intensive.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

Note: The amounts given are for about 2 pounds of chicken pieces, which is about 4 whole chicken legs. Adjust the ingredient amounts up or down according to your tastes and how much chicken you're cooking.

1. 4 whole chicken legs, or 2 pounds chicken pieces.
2. Approximately 2 cloves of garlic. How much garlic you use depends on how big the cloves are and how much you like garlic.
3. Salt and pepper
4. About 1/2 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped.
5. 3 lemons, juiced, for about 2 pounds of chicken. If you're feeding a crowd, add more lemon juice, as needed, to marinate the chicken. Juice it through a sieve so you can catch the pits. Don't throw out the rinds.

Instructions:

1. Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Put in a large bowl. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and parsley. Rub it into the chicken. Make sure the garlic is rubbed over all the chicken pieces.

2. Pour the lemon juice into the bowl and turn the chicken pieces to make sure they're all coated with the juice. Add the lemon rinds to the bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour, two is better. Every half hour or so, pull the bowl out and turn and rub the chicken pieces with the marinade.

You could marinate the chicken overnight, but it doesn't need that long and rubbing the marinade into the chicken periodically gives it deeper flavor. But, if you want to cook it after you get home from work, do the marinade in the morning. Give the chicken a good rub before you leave. Again, when you get home, give it a good rub and let it sit a bit longer while you heat the oven and prep whatever you're eating with the dish.

3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

4. Take the chicken out of the marinade. Throw out the marinade and lemon rinds. Coat the chicken lightly with olive oil. I don't waste extra virgin olive oil on this type of recipe because it doesn't really add anything to the dish. I use a light olive oil and spray it with my Misto. Then I use my hands to rub the sprayed oil evenly over the chicken. You only need enough oil to keep the chicken from sticking to the rack and promote browning.

5. Put skin side down on the rack. Bake 20-30 minutes, depending on how big the chicken pieces are. Turn over and bake another 20-30 minutes, until done. Check the chicken about 10 minutes before they're done. If it's not browning enough, turn the heat up to 400°F for the last 10 minutes.