Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

If you have ever found yourself looking for a quick chicken dish, whether for a weeknight or for a party, this one should be high on your list. Tender, juicy chicken and a nice little dipping sauce can be yours with very minimal effort and time. I totally forgot to post this after our Christmas party! So here it is, just a few months late...

Start with chicken, white or dark meat, preferably skinless and boneless. If it's for dinner, you'll probably want to leave the pieces whole; if it's for a party, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. In a bowl, whisk together one part fresh lemon juice to two parts olive oil. Zest the lemons before you squeeze them, and add the zest to the juice-oil mixture. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and whatever herbs you like. {Herbs are optional but add nice flavor. Dill and parsley are my favorites.} Taste, and adjust as needed—you want it to be tart and lemony but not sour.

Place the marinade and the chicken in a big zip-top bag, and seal it. Then squish and smoosh the bag, distributing the marinade all over the chicken. Don't leave any pieces naked. Then stash the bag in your fridge for about an hour. Or more—whatever. Just don't leave it more than 6 hours.

When you're ready to cook, you've got options. If you've made a lot of small pieces for a crowd, then just shake off as much marinade as possible {reserve the marinade}, and place chicken on large rimmed baking sheets. Bake at 425º for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. You can also skewer them on well-soaked bamboo skewers for easy eating. If you've got whole breasts {or thighs}, bake at 400º for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.

For the sauce, put the reserved marinade in a small saucepan over high heat, and boil {seriously, vigorously boil to kill any bacteria} for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside. Chop some fresh herbs {whatever you used in the marinade} and place the herbs and the cooled boiled marinade in a bowl. Whisk in some mayonnaise until you get the consistency you like. Serve the sauce with the chicken.

Easy, right? Tasty, too, I promise.


Colleen said...

This sort of chicken always reminds me of spring with its great flavors. You think if I make it spring will hurry up?

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm always looking for more simple chicken dishes and this fills the bill.