Lemon Chicken with Oregano and Thyme
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I really do love my FitBit (click on this for the Amazon link) that my daughter got me. It specializes in two things: constantly reminding me of what a slothful, useless individual I am, always sitting on my rear end at this laptop; and, explaining to me (in terms of lousy sleep quality) why I feel like hell on any given day. “Oh”, I say, as I open up the app. “So, that’s why my eyes are so puffy, I can barely open them! 4 hours sleep! Thanks so much, FitBit!”
That being said, I’ve discovered something interesting. Cooking involves a lot of steps. I take even more steps than the average person, because my pantry is about 50 steps away from the kitchen. The people who built this crazy house didn’t feel the need to build many cabinets. At all. They also didn’t believe in counter space. Or lighting. Or heating, for that matter (we don’t have central heat).
Anyway, my pantry, being so far away, is a great help in my meeting my steps quota. Every time I need to go back there, I usually will fuss with the laundry, fill the animals’ water, go out to the greenhouse and head back to the kitchen. Of course, having a severe case of CRS (can’t remember %#@!) means that, upon my return, I’ll remember what it was I went back there for, in the first place.
It takes me an average of 3 trips for every one item I go to collect. And, given how many ingredients I will need, that adds up to a lot of trips. So, instead of getting exasperated, I figure I’ll get that much closer to my goal of 10,000 steps.
Of course, I haven’t been outside in months. Rain and mud and me? No; ain’t happenin’!
The sun came out today and it got me thinking of Spring and starting my garden. I should be planning it right now (rotate, rotate, rotate – it gets complicated!) but I’ve got to come up with something for dinner. And that’s not as easy as you might think.
I like to make my old favorites, but I can’t go blogging on about the same old 10 recipes over and over, can I?
So, what’s a person to do?
I’m going to mull over the Dinner Question when I do arms and legs in front of the fourth re-run of 4 seasons of “The Great British Baking Show.” Why would I plot healthy dinners, work out and watch a baking show, all in one fell swoop?
Because I don’t have a sweet tooth. I do love baking bread, but I can handle the episodes on bread. Most of the shows are about sweets and pastries, but I’m not even tempted. I don’t see myself making puff pastry from scratch, any time in my near future. Or ever. By the time I finish 4 seasons, I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve learned from them (and, man, is there a LOT to learn!) So, I just start the seasons all over again. I know quite a bit about baking now – at least in theory. In practice, not so much.
Since I have discovered that I am really lousy at making up recipes, I’m going to give you Ina Garten’s recipe for Lemon Chicken. The plus side of this is, if you don’t like it, it’s not my fault! Got nothin’ to do with me!!
I don’t use skin-on chicken, because it’s just healthier not to. Now, I’m a little bit nervous about making this with skinless, boneless chicken. Why? Because lemon has a tendency to “cook” a chicken breast, if it doesn’t have the bone and skin on there. So, we’ll see how it goes. You know how some fish is “cooked” by marinating it in lime or lemon? Same thing can happen with chicken breast. I hope it doesn’t. Chicken “cooked” in acid has a weird texture. I’ll report my results after dinner!
Lemon Chicken with Oregano and Thyme
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
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 the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
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. 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.
Since my chicken had no skin (naked chicken!), I decided to give it a bit of color, when it got out of the oven. It just looked too white and sort of disgusting. So, I cranked up a little saute pan, added a little dash of olive oil, and browned my cooked chicken on both sides. Only took seconds. I removed the chicken to the cutting board. Then I poured the sauce into the hot skillet and deglazed the pan, which thickened the lemon sauce and gave it a bit of color. While that was going, I sliced the chicken breasts and placed them atop a nice bunch of beautiful homemade Spinach Pasta.
This was really good! I thought the sauce could’ve used a bit more lemon, so I squeezed the sliced lemon over the chicken/sauce/pasta mixture. Yum.
Enjoy! I hope someday you’ll get into making your own, fresh spinach pasta!
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