ALWAYS A WINNER – TUSCAN LEMON CHICKEN

DSCN1901For a long time I have been a big fan of the “Barefoot Contessa” cooking books. What caught my eye was her unusual name but Ina Garten provides great recipes ranging from French cooking to simple home cooking. This is one of my favorites home cooking recipes.

INGREDIENTS

1  chicken, flattened (see picture at the bottom)

1/3 cup good olive oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon crushed garlic (3 cloves)

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, halved

METHOD

1- Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt on each side.

2- Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and a teaspoon of pepper in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold the flattened chicken.

3- Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.

4- Preheat the oven to 200C.  Place the dish with the chicken breast up and the lemon halves on the sides.  Bake for 15 minutes.

5- Turn the heat of the oven to 180C and bake the chicken for another 45 minutes  to one hour, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.

6- Remove the chicken to a cutting board, cover with aluminium foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

7- Cut the chicken in quarters, sprinkle with salt and serve with the grilled lemon halves and sprigs of rosemary.

TIPS

– This chicken can be cooked on the BBQ.

– Crush the garlic, and this is a must, because if you use minced garlic it will burn and it will taste bitter.

– If the chicken and the lemons are colouring too fast cover them with foil for a while.

– When the lemons are over cooked or burnt the juice will taste bitter so do not use them.

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