GINNA PARSONS: Nothing better than chicken, lemon, garlic

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Every so often, I’ll get a call or an e-mail from Jan Willis at the Lee County Library, telling me he’s gotten in some new cookbooks. Knowing my interest in cooking and recipes, Jan always likes to give me the first opportunity to check out new offerings.
Week before last, he e-mailed and said I had a couple of books waiting for me at the checkout counter. When I got to the library, it was more like five books and two of them weighed about 10 pounds each.
Next time, I’ll take a wagon along.
One of the cookbooks, as I mentioned in last week’s column, was the Barefoot Contessa’s “How Easy Is That?” I have a couple of author Ina Garten’s cookbooks at home and more than a few of her recipes can be a bit tedious.
But the recipes in this new cookbook truly are easy and delicious.
Last Tuesday evening, I made this recipe for Lemon Chicken Breasts. I’d made a similar recipe some years ago that called for lemons and garlic and a whole chicken cut up, but I think this one may be just a bit better and much easier.
Let me say, though, that I misread the recipe before I went to the grocery store and I bought chicken breasts on the bone with skin, instead of boneless breasts with skin. Personally, I think the chicken on the bone had added flavor and the presentation was very nice.
If you don’t have any fresh thyme growing in your kitchen windowsill (I don’t), splurge on some fresh thyme in the produce section of Kroger.

Lemon Chicken Breasts
14 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
13 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
12 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
1 lemon, cut in 8 pieces
5 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs

Warm olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Don’t allow the garlic to brown. Off heat, add wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme and 1 teaspoon salt, and pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Pat chicken dry and place breasts skin-side up over the sauce. Brush chicken with additional olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Tuck lemon wedges in among pieces of chicken.
Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts, until the chicken is done and lightly browned. Remove from oven and cover the pan tightly with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with pan juices.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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