Monday, December 11, 2017

Lemon Chicken and an Instagram Giveaway

Although the "experts" don't recommend it, we Minxes do much of our cooking in extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil has a low smoke point, but we don't do much high-heat cooking. Or if we do cook over high heat, it's not for a prolonged period. We've never had any issues. (If we don't want the olive flavor in our finished dish, of course we use something more neutral.)

Recently, we've tried flavored olive oils just to up our game a little. Ariston lemon-infused olive oil is made in the Kalamata region of Greece from Koreneiki olives, which produce a buttery and smooth oil with a pronounced citrus flavor. It would be perfect as an ingredient in sweet dishes as well as savory. Think olive oil gelato or cake. I went a little more conventional with it, using it in a vinaigrette for the salad we served on Thanksgiving (made with radicchio, endive, roasted pears, and butternut squash) and as a flavoring for a chicken dish.

Lemon and chicken are a perfect pairing. Sometimes it's hard to get enough lemon flavor into the chicken by just using lemon juice and rind; it also can make the dish too acidic. But lemon-infused olive oil adds the lemon flavor without adding acidity. Check out my recipe using Ariston lemon-infused olive oil below.

If you want your own bottle of Ariston lemon-infused olive oil to play with, Gourmet Steve, purveyor of delicious olive oils and balsamic vinegars is giving one away to a lucky Minxeats reader. But you need to do a few things first.

1. Follow Gourmet Steve on Instagram
2. Follow Minxeats on Instagram
3. Leave a comment on this blog post (or on the photo on Instagram) about how you would use lemon olive oil if you won.

A winner will be chosen at random on December 18th and will be posted on the Gourmet Steve site on the 19th.

Good luck!

Lemon Chicken with Creamed Spinach

2 teaspoons Ariston lemon-infused olive oil, plus more for finishing
2 teaspoons regular extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, patted dry
Kosher salt
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 lemon, sliced
1 10-ounce bag frozen spinach
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt to taste
Chopped scallion or chives
Pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat the 2 teaspoons of lemon-infused and regular olive oils in an ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic clove and cook it for a minute or so, until it starts to lightly brown. This will impart some garlic flavor to the oil. Don't let the garlic burn, or the flavor will turn acrid. Remove the browned garlic, chop finely, and set aside.

Place the thighs into the hot oil and sear on both sides until browned. Sprinkle each side with kosher salt. Tuck the thyme and rosemary around the chicken while it's cooking. When chicken is golden brown, remove the herbs and top each thigh with a slice of lemon. Place pan in the oven. Roast until chicken is completely cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, 20-25 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, put the spinach in a saucepan and warm gently over medium heat, stirring regularly so it doesn't stick to the pan. Once the spinach is warm, add the cream and butter and the reserved chopped browned garlic and turn up the heat a tad to get the cream bubbling. Season with nutmeg and salt. The spinach will be lightly creamy but should still taste fresh. Remove from heat and keep warm until chicken is done.

To serve: Mound spinach in a bowl or on a plate and top with a chicken thigh. Garnish with scallions, pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of lemon olive oil.

Serves 4.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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