Tuscan Lemon Chicken

There are some ingredients that I really can't live without. And I am not talking about the basics like olive oil or salt, I mean the ingredients that I go to multiple times in a week and can't resist on any menu. This recipe has 2 of them, rosemary and lemon. Ah, lemon. It is basically a miracle worker in the kitchen. Anything you make that is missing something that is not salt or pepper, add lemon and it will be cured. Seriously, every great recipe has some tartness to it and lemon is the best way to get it. What I like about lemon in this recipe is that you take it to a whole different level but grilling the halves. I wish I could take credit for this, but it comes from the Barefoot Contessa, who is a master at using lemon. She loves it like I do and that is why her cookbooks are always splayed open in my kitchen.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina Garten 2008
serves 2 or 3

1 (3 1/2 pound) chicken, flattened*
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side.

Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold the flattened chicken. Add the chicken, and turn to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on one side of the grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side skin side up, and weight it down with the dish you used for marinating (pour off the marinade into a small saucepan). Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown.

Place saucepan with marinade on the stove, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Keep warm.

Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the grill for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken in quarters, sprinkle generously with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves and cooked marinade.

*Stand the chicken upright and cut the backbone with a large kitchen knife. Spread the chicken open on a board with the skin side down. Cut around and remove the breast bone with a boning knife. (You can ask your butcher to do all this for you.)


1 comment:

Audrey said...

Great stuff --- another good post to read.

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