Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lemon Chicken with Hash-Browned Brussels Sprouts

There are as many ways to do lemon chicken as there are cooks who make it. I’ve found that this method of first browning boneless breasts in a cast-iron pan then roasting them with thin lemon slices on top helps the meat stay wonderfully moist and tender.

But the lemon slices also prevent the tops of the breasts from browning in the oven, so they may not be as pretty as normal golden brown chicken on the serving platter. Here’s how to remedy that: The scant amount of pan juices—a little white wine and some fresh lemon juice—cook down to a caramelized, golden brown color during roasting. When the chicken is done, turn the roasted breasts (and lemon slices) in the pan juices a few times to add rich golden color to the meat as well. Not to mention that delicious caramelized flavor.

To keep this theme going, I “hash browned” the Brussels sprouts (yes, you can do that to more than just potatoes) by slicing them ever so thinly, then searing them in a cast-iron skillet with a little butter and olive oil. The key is to let them cook undisturbed for the first five minutes. This gets the browning action going, then you can turn and stir them a bit until they’re done—about five minutes longer.     

Serves 4

  • 2 large lemons, scrubbed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 12 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed, very thinly sliced crosswise (about 1/10-inch slices)
  • 1/8 tsp dried red chile flakes
Thinly Sliced Sprouts
  1. Cut 1 lemon into 12 thin slices. Set aside. Cut the other lemon in half crosswise. Cut one half into 4 wedges. Leave the remaining half as is. Remove all visible seeds from both lemons.
Prepared Lemons
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil, swirling to coat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook until browned on the bottom, 6-7 minutes.
  3. Turn the breasts over and add the wine to the pan (carefully—it will sizzle). Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half over the chicken and lay 3 lemon slices, overlapping, on top of each breast.
  4. Place the skillet in the oven, uncovered, and roast until the breasts are just cooked through, 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness.
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
After Turning
Ready to Roast
  1. Meanwhile, heat another large, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat and add the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat and combine. Spread the sprouts in the pan and sear without stirring, 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the sprouts over and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp-tender, 5-6 minutes total. Stir in the chile flakes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Remove the skillet with the chicken from the oven and stir in the rosemary. Turn the breasts and lemon slices a few times in the pan to coat with golden brown juices.
Brussels Sprouts Beginning to Cook 
Sprouts after Turning
Hash-Browned Brussels Sprouts 
Rosemary Added
Transfer the chicken (with a few of the lemon slices) to a platter. Serve with lemon wedges and hash-browned Brussels sprouts alongside.

Lemon Chicken with Hash-Browned Brussels Sprouts

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