By Cat, Sept 2016 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I’m always on the lookout for quick and flavorful baked or roasted chicken recipes, and Mediterranean flavors are high on my favorites list. I found this one in our local newspaper. This is a fairly quick and easy recipe, perfect for a cool fall evening when using your oven helps to heat the house.
Lemon-Herb Chicken Breasts or Thighs
I’ve adapted this recipe from one in the Daily Inter Lake, originally by Marge Perry for a Special to Newsday. The original recipe uses just breasts, but I like to mix white and dark meat, using breasts and legs. The rich dark meat is really the best with the Mediterranean flavors.
Serves 4 – 6 (depending on how many pieces you use)
Ingredients & Equipment
- 4 – 6 chicken pieces, any combination (half-breasts, thighs, drumsticks), brine at least the breasts
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt (less if you brine the chicken)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking sheet/pan
- 1 lemon (for 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tsp grated zest)
- baking sheet or jelly roll pan
- food processor or blender
- large bowl
- Brine chicken pieces, or just the breasts for 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry with paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil/grease the baking sheet/pan with olive oil or lard.
- Prep: grate zest of lemon, then squeeze the juice; you can combine them in a small bowl.
- If using a food processor, mince the garlic in the processor, then add herbs and mince finely. If using a blender, mince the garlic by had, then combine in blender with herbs.
- Add salt (go light if you brined the chicken), olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and mix well. Transfer to large bowl.
- Add chicken pieces and toss to coat pieces with the herb mix.
- Place chicken on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until done, about 35 minutes (thermometer placed in thickest part of breast should read 160°F, and in thigh should read 175 – 180°F).
- Accompany with gnocchi or pasta, or steamed red potatoes, and a side of braised greens.
- A large salad of greens and other veggies with a balsamic or Mediterranean dressing is another great accompaniment.
- Recipe by Marge Perry for Newsday