Monday, August 17, 2015

Chicken Thighs Baked with Lemon, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

It's either my cravings or the need to use a certain ingredient that cause me to search and find recipes like the following. But mainly my cravings.

This particular recipe made me realize I need to replace our mortar and pestle. The small bowl on the food processor is usually the tool of choice for this type of task, but it's not efficient when there aren't enough ingredients in the bowl. 

Also, I used boneless, skinless thighs to make this. Next time I'll use thighs with their bone, but remove the skin. I believe thighs have enough flavorful fat on their own.

Enjoy this keeper from Fine Cooking dot com:

In addition to the lemon and fresh herbs, the chicken thighs are flavored with an emulsified mash of garlic, salt, and olive oil, called allioli. I like to garnish each plate of chicken with a spoonful of romesco sauce.

2 large cloves garlic
Coarse salt or sea salt
3 to 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
12 chicken thighs, trimmed of fat, rinsed, and patted dry
2 large lemons, each cut into six 1/4-inch rounds
1 bunch fresh rosemary, snipped into twelve 2-inch pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme, snipped into twelve 2-inch pieces
12 sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with a large pinch of salt to create a coarse paste (or use a small mixing bowl and the back of a spoon, or mince the garlic very finely on a cutting board). Add the oil very slowly in drops while pounding and grinding the paste, continuing until the allioli is thick, creamy, and emulsified. Put the chicken in a bowl. Rub the allioli all over, including under the skin. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Arrange the lemon slices in one layer in a large shallow roasting pan or baking dish (9x13x2 inches is good). Top each slice with a piece of rosemary and thyme and a sage leaf. Set the chicken thighs, skin side up, on top; sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Bake until the skin is golden and the juices are clear, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Sometimes the lemons and chicken produce a lot of juices, in which case you can make a delicious pan sauce. Transfer the chicken (keeping the herbs and lemon slices underneath) to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Tilt the pan to pool the juices in one corner. Spoon off the fat that rises to the top. Set the pan over medium heat (if the pan isn't flameproof, pour the juices into a small skillet) and scrape up any stuck-on juices. Let the juices boil and reduce so they thicken to a saucy consistency. Drizzle the sauce around, not on, the chicken to maintain the crisp skin.

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