Monday, June 9, 2008

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Thighs

Tonight I wanted chicken, but I also wanted something different. I was tired of the same old stuff and I definitely wanted to "kick it up a notch" in the taste department. We also had some chicken thighs in the freezer that had been there over a month--I picked them up on sale and was waiting for inspiration to strike. Nada. Last night, after searching online, I decided on this recipe from Emeril.

This chicken was so, so good! I've got a lemon chicken recipe of my own, but this comes in as a close second. This has tons of flavor, and the chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender. I'm definitely making this again.

Because there are only two of us, I halved the recipe everywhere except with the lemon juice and chicken broth, and I'm glad I did! The liquids will reduce, so if you want some extra broth on your plate but need to halve the recipe, use all the liquids and let them reduce down.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Thighs
(Adapted from Emeril Lagasse)

8 chicken thighs with bones & skin, about 3 1/2 lbs.
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. olive oil
3 c. thinly sliced onions
30 cloves (approx. 2 heads) garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 lb. angel hair pasta
3 T. chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
3 T. unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken thighs with 1 1/4 tsp. salt and the pepper.

Place the flour in a shallow dish. Lightly dredge the chicken in flour and set aside.

In a large, wide saute pan with 2 to 3-inch sides, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add the chicken and brown well on both sides, about six minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions to the oil and cook, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the chicken until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, remaining salt, and bay leaf. Cook 1 minute.

Add lemon juice, chicken broth, and browned chicken thighs to the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

Once mixture has reached a simmer, cover tightly. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for 15 minutes more, or until cooked through and tender.

While the chicken is baking, boil water for the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well and toss in a large bowl with the parsley and butter.

To serve, place a portion of the pasta in the center of the plate. Arrange chicken thighs aroound the pasta and drizzle with lemon-garlic cooking liquid over the pasta. Garnish with additional parsley and serve.

Notes:
  • Like I said, I halved the recipe. Keep this in mind for your needs. I only used one head of garlic and 1/4 c. flour. All that was more than enough for the two of us.
  • I used chicken stock instead of broth. I'll always go for stock over broth just because it gives the dishes a better flavor.
  • Prep definitely took longer than the suggested 10 minutes! Next time I'll build this into my time so we eat earlier.
  • If you're nervous about the red pepper, we used crushed red pepper flakes and you could barely taste them. They added just the right amount of spice for this meal, but the garlic and lemon really do the talking.

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