For while we all are adjusting to the new layout
An easy one for today, everyone! I have been doing more interesting cooking, but I can't post about it for another week or so for TOP SECRET REASONS.
Back to business. While the word "zesty" kind of bothers me, like it's been co-opted by the salad dressing industry, I can't think of a better term for this recipe. In terms of ingredients and method it's quite simple and unremarkable: Herby marinated chicken thighs, roasted in the oven (or toaster oven, if you're like me and live somewhere that is temperate enough for cooler-blooded folks to believe air conditioning isn't necessary). But, I gotta tell ya, this is one of our favorite dinners.
Start by putting garlic, herbs of your choice (I use thyme, rosemary, dried oregano), and lemon zest in your preferred baking dish.
Quick aside: The rosemary I use came from our mini "Christmas tree" from December. We got it from Whole Foods. It's about two feet tall, and just when I think it is completely dead, I will see two or three green sprigs growing from the top. The other 90% of the tree is dried up and gone and gone can be.
|I used my microplane for both the garlic and the zest. Love love.|
|Yes! You are correct. This is a basic vinaigrette but with less oil and no attempts at emulsification via mustard or egg yolk. Also now that I think about it mustard would be an excellent addition. Good thinking!|
I let it marinate for as long as I can stand: no fewer than two hours, ideally overnight.
|I did sneak bacon into these, hence the block-y shapes underneath the skin.|
Then I turn it skin-side up and pour out almost all of the liquid. I do this because I care deeply about browned chicken skin. In order for the skin to brown, it has to be dry. If the skin doesn't matter to you, there's no reason to pour the liquid out... you may even have more flavorful chicken than me because of it! Bake at 375° for 45 mins to an hour.
|PSA: You can click this and all other pictures to see a larger version.|
But Lenore! Can't you just pour pre-prepared Italian vinaigrette (either from a packet or a bottle) over some chicken and get similar results? Yes. Yes you can. But, you know, what about the chemical additives, nice to control the flavors oneself, yada yada... purchased vinaigrette will absolutely work in a pinch. But maybe squirt some lemon juice (from a LEMON) in there? For me?
Credit where credit is due: I've been messing around with vinegar-garlic-herbs and chicken for a few years, but I gained a lot of traction after dining with some of our friends in Boston in Spring 2012. (Shout out!) My friend prepared a chicken dish which has been in her family for many years and involves marinating chicken overnight in vinegar, an egg, and... maybe a few other things? I forget the precise method, but I had never heard of people cooking chicken in almost pure vinegar before and it was completely delicious! The egg was unusual as well but it was a pleasant surprise---there were five of us eating that night and we couldn't get enough of the chicken and the vinegary juices that came with it. After that night, I got more brazen with my use of vinegar and I worried less about creating a "balanced" marinade.
I'm learning, gradually, that vinegar is a severely underrated flavoring agent. The vinegar (and salt) are, really, 95% of the flavor-infusing battle.
And finally, it was so warm this past weekend (80s) that I did a little sunning on our rooftop deck. With sunblock. I promise! Here's a picture of the water from the roof, unzoomed.
|Betcha want to come visit us now!|