The Urge to Cook(Recipe: Braised Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs)
Delighting in our first crop of Meyer lemons, my little brain immediately went to work deciding how they were to be used. All sorts of sweet concoctions swirled in my head. They kept swirling and swirling and swirling. I was gaining weight just doing the thinking part. Certainly, some of those prized lemons will find themselves, at least their juice, in a bowl with some sugar….possible butter, eggs and flour. But I wanted to use some of the lemon in a savory dish, too.
Due to our hectic schedule since Thanksgiving, I haven’t done a whole lot of cooking since the Grand Feast Day. Today was a day I wanted to get in my kitchen, pull out what produce needed to be used, go outside and gather what needed to be gathered and cook up something delectable.
I have such a fascination with cast iron cooking implements, especially my big ol’ cast iron Dutch oven. I love that thing more than I love my luggage. It’s nostalgic and sturdy and handy and just down right cool. Plus, one pot meals are my idea of a Grand Prize.
These are the items that I procured for tonight’s meal:
Kitchen – carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, bay leaves
Freezer – chicken thighs, homemade stock
Outside – rosemary, Meyer lemons
By George, I think we gots us a meal!
I didn’t have fresh garlic but I always keep garlic powder on hand for such a time as this (Hello, Esther!).
So, that’s how Braised Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs were born.
Some dishes aren’t necessarily made to be photographed. This might not be the prettiest dish I’ve ever whipped up, but it’s certainly one of the tastiest. I would serve this to company. No doubt about it. The chicken was falling off the bone tender and flavorful to beat the band. Veggies, cut in moderately large bite size pieces, held up to the cooking process and maintained a good texture. I got to look at my cast iron pot as we ate dinner. All in all, it was a grand experience.
Y’all come see us!
Braised Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs
Cutting the vegetables in moderately large bit size pieces helps to maintain a nice texture and prevents you from trying to get through a meal of mushy, squashy vegetables. I left the onion in eighths inside of slicing it because I like to see big pieces of onion.
yield: 4 to 6 servings
6 to 8 chicken thighs (bone in-skin on!!!)
4 stalks celery, including leaves, sliced
5 carrots, trimmed and peeled and sliced in 1/4 t0 1/2 inch rounds
4 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch cubes
2 sweet onions, peeled and cut in eights
1 lemon, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 quart chicken stock
3 (6 in.) sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Salt and pepper chicken on both sides. Heat a large dutch oven and cover the bottom with oil. Cooking in batches, brown chicken on both sides for about 3 minutes per side. Remove from Dutch oven and set aside.
Throw prepared veggies and lemon in the pot that now has all the delicious cooking juices and bits from the chicken. Sauté for 10 minutes stirring often to coat all pieces with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour stock into pot with veggies. Stir well, scrape up all the goodies off the bottom. Stir in garlic powder.
Snuggle chicken pieces down into the veggies and stock. Place rosemary twigs and bay leaves anywhere in the pot your heart desires.
Cover and cook at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove rosemary twigs, bay leaves and lemon rinds before serving. Actually, you can eat the lemon rinds if they suit your taste.
P. S. Please leave me a comment if you caught the reference to Esther! :)
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