Tonight was suppose to be about unusual fruits, but I never made it to the Asian Market to pick up the fruits I wanted to work with, so we’ll save it for another time. Instead I was in the mood to cook up a batch of this wonderful lemon chicken. It’s a bit labor intensive, so I don’t do it often, but it is oh, so good.
Let’s make this exchange about lemons and chicken. Do you have any favorite lemon recipes? Chicken? Lemon and chicken? And most importantly, what are your cooking plans tonight or this weekend? Hit the comments with your dinner plans.
Zesty Lemon Chicken
(adapted from Crème de Colorado – serves 6)
6 boneless chicken breasts
10 whole lemons, (enough to make 2 cups juice, reserve 2 tbsp for later)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp lemon zest (grated peel)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth*
1 whole lemon, sliced thin
minced parsley for garnish
skillet, bowl, baking dish
In an airtight container, combine chicken breasts and lemon juice. Marinate for 1 hour. Remove chicken. Pat chicken with paper towel, but don’t dry completely. Mix together flour, salt, paprika and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture until well coated.
In large skillet heat 1/2 of the oil and fry breasts a few at a time until well browned, adding and heating more oil as needed. (about ten minutes) Arrange chicken in a single layer in a large baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with lemon peel and brown sugar. Mix chicken broth with reserved lemon juice and pour around chicken. Pace a sliced lemon on top of each breast and sprinkle with minced parsley. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until tender.
*I added the broth to the frying pan, deglazed it and then added it to the baking dish. Yum.
Next week: Mushrooms
(photo by JeffreyW at Whats4dinnersolutions)
From our Food Goddess, Tamara:
I’ve been making a lot of biscuits in the last few weeks, no particular reason, it just seemed to be the perfect addition to several meals. A while back, JeffreyW posted the photo above and I commented that my biscuits were never quite that fluffy. He promptly pointed me to the recipe he used. I’ve used a variation of it ever since. These are by far the best biscuits ever and I can’t believe how easy they are to make, and they come out great every time.
I have plenty of biscuit variations, too: Cinnamon Biscuits, Cheddar Cheesy Biscuits and Whole Wheat Biscuits.
Big, fluffy and moist, they easily compete with any biscuit I’ve had, even at my favorite restaurant Lucille’s. I bake them in my large cast iron skillet.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/3 cup butter (this really gives them a buttery flavor), softened, really, really softened
1 cup buttermilk – (I use 4 tbsp buttermilk powder to 1 cup water)
mixing bowl, baking sheet or cast iron skillet
In mixing bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Gradually add milk. Mix together until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. I had to add additional flour, this is a very moist dough. Turn out onto well floured surface and knead 10-15 times. I couldn’t roll this dough out it was too moist. I just flattened it by hand (about an inch thick, maybe a little less) and cut out the biscuits. With the extra flour I came up with 7 very large biscuits.
Bake at 425 degrees for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Put your oven rack in the middle to keep them from browning too much on the bottom. ====
Biscuits or rolls? Do you have a favorite and what’s your favorite topping? Butter, honey, apple butter?
Next Week: Unusual fruits
Last week I opened up the ingredients to requests. I had two, bacon and mushrooms. We’ll start with bacon and I’ll serve up some mushroom recipes at a later date. JeffreyW tantalized us all with bacon cups (“ba-cups” he christened them!) and today seemed like a good reason to try them. He used bread in his first batch as the base, but suggested hash browns. I did half hash browns and half bread. Then I was able to cook up the remaining hash browns in bacon grease. Yum. The recipe that follows is for the bread bottoms. Not content with just bacon, he followed up with Prosciutto Cups.
Are you a bacon person? Ever tried bacon ice cream? What are some of your favorite bacon uses?
6 thick slice bacon
3-6 slices of rye or other firm bread
2 oz shredded sharp cheddar (or cheese of choice)
2 tbsp of butter
skillet, 6-cup muffin tin (alternately you can use custard bowls)
Lightly butter each muffin cup. Cut a circle out of each slice of bread to fit in the bottom of the muffin cups (I was able to get 2 from each slice). Place in the buttered bottom of each muffin cup. Now you can either lightly fry the bacon and then arrange into the cups, or leave it raw (see JeffreyW’s notes below). Crack one egg into each cup. season with salt and pepper, top with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until bacon is fully cooked and egg whites are set, 20 to 25 minutes. Run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts. Serve immediately.
JeffreyW’s notes on bacon cups:
I like my bacon on the crisp side, and love runny yolks, so the next time I make these I will fry the bacon a bit before I assemble them. By the time the bacon in this set was edible, the eggs were cooked hard. A thin cut bacon could help, as well.
I cut some circles to fit the bottoms of the muffin tin out of rye bread. Any bread will work, and a fellow in a comment elsewhere mentioned using hash browns on the bottom as a possibility. I see merit in his suggestion.
I tried several cheeses on the tops, some shredded cheddar, a couple with parings of asiago, and one with a Greek cheese called Kasseri. I am happiest with the cheddar, although perhaps using grated cheeses will be the preferred method in the end. More experiments! Wonder if I can get a grant?
Next week: Biscuits
Preach it, Brother Bill:
So, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. What are y’all cooking for the occasion, if anything? Does anyone have a good recipe for onion dip that does not include Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix? I intend to try this Alton Brown recipe unless someone has a better suggestion.
Also, Giants or Patriots? I’m not particularly fond of either team (my team is the sucky Bucs), but I’m leaning toward the Giants for no particular reason.
The weather is great. Go read blogs outside!
Try this delicious Greek recipe. Just made last night.
Two bell peppers (your favorites. I used red & orange)
5tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/4lb spicy sausage (I used turkey sausage)
14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cut each pepper into 8 chunks. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the peppers. Cook until they are starting to turn a little brown around the edges. Turn off the heat, and put the leftover olive oil into a frying pan. Cut the sausages into bite sized chunks and add them to the frying pan. Cook until brown, but don’t cook through.
Add all ingredients to a baking pan and stir well. Cook on 350 for about 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10. Serves 4.
As a side dish, I made stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Not very Greek, but very easy.
4 medium mushrooms
1/4 cup of swiss cheese (or whatever you like)
3tbsp diced garlic
Put all the stuffing ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Stuff the shrooms. Cook on 350 for about 20 minutes. Yum! As always, you should vary the recipe depending on your taste. Don’t like sausage? Use chicken. Don’t like Swiss? Use feta. In fact, feta might be bettah.