Wednesday, January 11, 2012

American Masala Lemon Chicken

One of my Christmas gifts was a copy of Top Chef Masters competitor Suvir Saran's 2007 cookbook, American Masala. After a quick flip through the book, my eye caught on a recipe for Lemon Chicken Legs and Thighs that seemed quick, easy, and delicious. We already had a pack of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in the freezer - all we needed to pick up at the store was a couple of lemons.

While the dish - served with saffron basmati rice and a sauté of mushrooms and haricots verts with almonds - was overall pretty successful, there were some issues. I had used less than the called-for one tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of salt, but it was still too much. I also thought that the amount of both butter and lemon were excessive for eight pieces of chicken and reduced them accordingly. What I did like about the recipe was the technique of browning the chicken in oil and melted butter before popping the pan into the oven; the melted butter provided a quick browning and lots of flavor. I also liked the idea of putting lemon sugar on the chicken before baking, but I think in the future that I'll save half of it to put on the chicken after it comes out of the oven, to retain some of the fresh zest flavor.

I'm looking forward to trying this one again, with my adjustments. And perhaps with a side of Saran's macaroni and cheese.

Note: the leftovers made an outstanding lunch when served with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the lemon brown butter goodness.

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