Glazed, Pan-roasted, and Marinated Chicken with Lemon

 

Since childhood, chicken has been a tasty specialty for me, cooked in all its glory, many different ways. Along with my siblings and I, we ate chicken fried and roasted, and other ways too such as chicken a-la-king, a great way to use up leftover chicken.  Our  housekeeper, who worked for us from the time I was a year old, cooked and served all of our meals. For coloring and maybe taste, Ann, the maid, always added pimentos to the chicken a-la-king. I still do that occasionally, but not too much since I’ve discovered so many other luscious ways to eat chicken. And too chicken a-la-king is not as popular as it was when I was going up.  Odd as it was, I never saw my mother cooking, or barely entering  our kitchen. Still, I watched Mom at lunchtime  pull succulent  pieces of meat off chicken bones  since she was very particular about eating too much fat, always wanting to keep a slim and beautiful figure. Coming from a poor family too, I suspect chicken was on the menu often.

For me, I began cooking chicken in  the 70s when newly married and  when stir fries raged and my cooking engines roared. I also stuffed chicken into casseroles with vegetables and sauces, and served it alongside creamy mashed potatoes. Since then, all forms of chicken– bone-in, skinless, only breasts, or just thighs, have transformed this simple meat into near-elegance with constantly new recipes arriving from chefs, cookbook authors, fresh techniques and creative ideas to make  cooks choose chicken for economical and delicious meals.  Now more than ever, various  aromatics and umami accents penetrate chicken to add juiciness and make the chicken of today more savory and appealing.

Marinades and rubs, when added judiciously and in thoughtful and creative  combinations  have been in fashion lately and add nuanced flavor to chicken and other foods. None-the-less, some expert cooks and chefs believe that marinades are not worth using with  chicken and other meats because, with  research, they have discovered that these mixtures of oils, sauces and herbs barely soak into the foods, only perhaps a quarter of an inch! So, they feel why bother marinating; it’s a waste of time!  However,  still other cooks belief a marinade is beneficial.  I’ve found marinades do add flavor to foods.  You experiment and see how it works!  I really would love to hear some of your results!  Leave a message if you like or email me at papaverm@hotmail.com  and share which method, marinating or  rubs work best for you.  I use rubs occasionally and like the results, but I like marinating more I feel it truly works with all types of chicken, as well as beef and pork ribs; it heightens flavor.

marinade

1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

4-6 scallions, green and white parts, chopped

1/2 lemon, juiced

4 strips of lemon rind, but not the white part

1/4 cup honey or light brown sugar

1 Tbsp  Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp fish sauce or hoisin  sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

herb mixture – basil, dill, cilantro, thyme and oregano – fresh, about one half cup

 

1   Mix all ingredients in a medium sized  glass or ceramic bowl.  Add 7-10 pieces of boneless skinless chicken thighs. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.  Turn a few  times as the chicken marinates for 2-5 hours.  Let the chicken come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2  In a roasting pan, which has been sprayed with Pam, or lightly greased, lay out the chicken, keeping the pieces from touching each other. Baste about a quarter of the marinade over the chicken. Leave the scallions in the pan too as well as the lemon rind bits, they add good flavor. Put the pan in the oven on the  middle rack.  Cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes on one side and turn it and cook for the same amount of time on the other side.  don’t let the chicken get too brown.  Check with a  sharp knife to see that juices run out clear and there is no pink color. Before serving, remember to remove the lemon rind parts.

3  Serve the chicken plain like this with a simple salad and or a baked potato, and perhaps cooked broccoli accented with slivered almonds.

4  I will shortly be adding a recipe for calzones using  this chicken, which is another way to enjoy it.

 

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