Thursdays are for cooking….

| November 8, 2018

Real lemons

In my best Julia Child voice: Today, we’re fixing lemon chicken. And cappellini with basil and tomatoes. And an herbed butter to put on your dinner rolls.

Roasted Lemon Chicken:

You need one pre-brined chicken, or brine it yourself, using 1 cup of table salt per gallon of water for 30 to 60 minutes.. If it’s a kosher bird, you don’t need to brine it.

Butterfly the chicken, take out the backbone with kitchen shears and mix these ingredients:

3 tablespoons of lemon zest (use a grater if you don’t have a microplane)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

Loosen the skin. Using 2 tablespoons of the mix, spread the lemon zest under the skin, rub it around to coat the bird evenly. Season the bird with salt and pepper. Put it in the cooking pan NOT on a rack.

To make the pan broth, mix these together:

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup of water

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

the remainder of the lemon zest rub

Pour this mixture into the bottom of the pan. Do NOT cover the bird.

Roast in a 475F oven 40 to 45 minutes. (I sometimes prefer a slower oven for chicken to keep it juicy.)

Let the bird rest on your carving board. Pour the pan drippings into a bowl to make a sauce. The sauce is a mixture of pan drippings, a small amount of cornstarch, some butter, and if necessary, additional chicken broth. (Cornstarch will make a clear sauce.)

Herbed butter is easy to make.  You’ll need:

a cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened by sitting out

parsley, chives, thyme, dill

1 teaspoon of kosher salt (sea salt is also okay)

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

some fine ground black pepper

That should be nice on your dinner rolls, especially when it goes oozing down your arm. (Yes, OOZING!)

Cappellini with tomatoes and basil:

1/2 cup olive oil  (Use extra virgin olive oil – higher percentage of beneficial linoleic acid)

2 tablespoons of rough chopped garlic

4 pints of cherry tomatoes

2 teaspoonfuls of fresh thyme

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

Saute all of that together until the tomatoes are soft.

Julienne a bunch of basil and parsley. (Or put it through the food processor. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried herbs are just fine!)

Cook the cappellini in fairly salty water with a splash of olive oil to keep it from boiling over.  A per person serving of cappellini is what will fit in the one-inch opening when you put your thumb and index finger into a circle.

Grate some parmesano or asiago (or both) into a big pile on a shallow plate.

Drain the pasta. Add it to the tomatoes and toss it without bruising the tomatoes. (They’re already cooked, so I have no idea how you’d bruise them further.)

Plate it, add the freshly grated cheese, pour yourself a good glass of wine, spread that herbed butter on your bread, and tuck in.

And for afters: fruit and cheese? Ice cream? Cheesecake?

Hey, it’s your house. You decide.

Bon appetit!

Category: Economy

Comments (18)

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  1. Too bad I’m not your neighbor Ex because I’d be over your place every night mooching the chow you so elegantly cook instead of my eating Lean cuisine and di gorno’s frozen pizza.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Jeff, if you can boil water, you can make the capellini w/basil & tomatoes.

      Lean Cuisine – stop eating that stuff and make a plateful of your own food! It ain’t that hard.

      I had to learn how to cook because my mother’s cooking was average to below average. She couldn’t figure out how to add cut up hot dogs to mac & cheese, even if they were precooked (which they all are).

  2. Wilted Willy says:

    As always, it sounds really yummy!!!

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    mmmmmmmsounding mmmmmgood. Not an overly big fan of yard bird ,(Cook and shift mgr for KFC in a former lifetime) but that right there sounds like it would make a puppy pull a freight train. Does like me some basil flavored ‘maters and all over some herbed up oozing rolls. Roasting the bird, sauteed like that, ought to make her tender and juicy. Too many folks will dry it out, cooking too long, not enough moisture, or temp too high. “splash of olive oil” and “into a big pile” Them’s the kind of measurements that Mama & Granny used to use, along with a dab, a pinch, some, and a little. Will have to give this one a try ’bout week after next. Ain’t quite cooled off enough to get intimate with the oven just yet. Raining like the dickens, supposed to be in the high 40s by Sunday. For afterwards, ice cream. Thanks for the post.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      We’re supposed to have snow here in my kingdom, maybe some tonight and possibly all day tomorrow.

      Anyone living north of the US/Canadian border who thinks we have it better down here is nuts. Snow this early is not unusual, but it is ANNOYING!!!!! I’m just glad I bothered to get bird food at Ace last week. I’m concerned that this winter will be long, plus snowy/wet and not end until the end of April, just like this year.

  4. 26Limabeans says:

    “In my best Julia Child voice”

    Save the liver!

  5. OC says:

    Ex, a question. All the recipes I have for smoking critters says to brine them overnight.
    Yet you claim 30 to 60 minutes. Seeing as how you are omnipotent in things cuisine, what’s the story?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I think it has to do with immediately cooking the chicken (in a pan with liquid) versus smoking, which is a dry environment. I don’t do smoking, but I know that smoked ham and smoked bacon take longer than just cured ham or bacon.

      However, that IS a good question, so I looked online and found this article, which may answer your questions on both issues.

      ‘Wet’ brining reduces cooking time, and you’re going to cook the chicken right away. ‘Dry’ brining means you’re going to have this product available for a while.

      I hope this helps. That website looks to be thorough in its information.

    • Tom Huxton says:

      that is the recipe for yesterdays chicken

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      To answer that, question, I usually just season chicken an roast or pan-fry it, but this recipe looked good so I included it.

      I think the length of time for brining for cooking (short) verus brining for smoking has to do with wet versus dry.

      I always add a liquid in the pan to roasting chicken to keep it from drying out. I haven’t done any smoking, but smoking is a dry environment, which may be the difference.

      I know that KFC brines their chicken, and all of theirs is deep-fried.

      I did find this article on the difference between the two, which may answer your questions better than I can.

    • AW1Ed says:

      The recipe calls for a light brine so the yard bird’s salt content doesn’t overwhelm all the other flavors, but still gets the flavor boost and tenderness.

      I brine:
      Seafood- 1/2 hour max.
      Poultry- 1-2 hours, unless it’s a whole damn turkey, then overnight.
      Pork shoulder- 8 hours or overnight.
      Beef- overnight, and only if smoking a brisket. That’s pretty much a whole fookin’ weekend job, requiring an amazing amount of beer.

      Pro tip-
      Grab a corned beef brisket (or make it yourself) and smoke it with apple or pecan wood. Congrats! You’ve just made pastrami.
      Ruben sammich, anyone?

  6. AW1Ed says:

    Butterflied chicken is a great way to grill it too. I slather the bird with Newman’s Own Italian dressing, let it sit in the reefer for a couple hours, and grill over live coals until it hits 160 degrees or so.

    Thick sliced tomatoes seasoned with S&P, topped with Feta cheese and shredded Basil leaves, with olive oil drizzled over all makes a nice side.