Chicken with Lemons
Poulet au Citron
Preparation: 15 minutes, plus 24 hours to marinate
Cooking: 40 minutes
Equipment: 1-gallon glass or plastic airtight container with lid, 1-quart saucepan, baking pan with rack
1 chicken (about 3 ½ pounds)
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 small bell pepper, seeded and cut in strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup plus tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from approximately 8 lemons)
1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf tied together)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
2 lemons for garnish
Fresh tarragon, mint, or parsley for garnish
Fragrant with its citrus flavor, this dish is ideally refreshing during the spring and summer. Add more sugar, if desired, to sweeten the tartness. Chicken with Lemons is an easy spring entrée that can be doubled for a gathering. Use colorful pepper for added visual impact.
The night before, cut chicken into 6 pieces. In an airtight container, combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, and chicken. Add ¼ cup olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Top with bouquet garni. Turn the chicken pieces once or twice while they are marinating overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, preheat oven to 400°.
Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving marinade. Drain and place on a rack in an ovenproof baking pan. Brush chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake chicken for 40 minutes. If chicken is not a brown as you would like, broil for a few minutes.
Cook marinade in a saucepan, covered, over low heat for 40 minutes. Add sugar while the marinade is cooking, stirring from time to time.
After chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, drain the liquid that has accumulated on the bottom of the pan and add to the saucepan with the marinade.
To serve, arrange cooked chicken on a serving platter. Removing bouquet garni, pour marinade over the chicken. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Recipe Excerpt from:
From a French Country Kitchen: The Culinary Tradition of la Madeleine French Bakery & Café
By Monique Esquerré and Patrick Esquerré