Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Balsamic Lemon Chicken

Balsamic Lemon Chicken with pan juices.

When browsing Tastespotting I came upon a beautiful photo of skin-on, bone-in chicken and clicked on it to learn more. Finding the chicken was marinated in a balsamic lemon bath, I incorporated this dish in our latest food plan and grocery list.

Very Culinary is the blog where the recipe can be found. You know the ropes: click the link below to get straight to the original recipe, use the link above to just browse around at fantastic photos on another site, or keep on readin' on to see what I did.

Before you get too far, I did make a few changes from the original recipe. Two on purpose; two by accident: cut salt down to 1 tbsp, use only 1 lemon; accidentally use all the butter to brown the chicken and add the lemon juice prematurely. Movin' on.

8 chicken pieces (legs and thighs, skin on, bone-in)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter

Prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork and set aside.

I tried "pricking" a piece of my chicken and it didn't work too hot, so I skipped it.

In a large bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar with half of the lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

Add the chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Mix the sugar with the remaining lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes.

Melt butter in the skillet and swirl the oil and butter together.

Place chicken skin-side-down in the pan along with the remaining marinade and lemon juice.

Cook until the chicken is browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, and then flip each piece over and cook 1 minute more. Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the chicken.

Transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is completely cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, about 25 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven.

This chicken was pretty good. I can see how my changes (advertant or not) weren't good choices. Salt-wise, the reduction was good. However, using all the butter to brown the chicken wasn't wise since it didn't let the skin get real crispy and using the lemon prematurely minimized the lemon-y flavor. Live and learn.

Regardless, Rodney and I both liked it, though I'll make it again minus the mistakes. I'm sure it will be better that way.

  • chicken: $4.20
  • lemon: $0.40
Total: $4.60, but let's round up to $5 to include stuff like butter and oil and seasonings. That makes each of three servings $1.67.

We had the chicken served with Homestyle Brown Rice Pilaf and Green Beans Provencal. And it was damn good!