I don’t know about you–but when life gives me a lemon, I squeeze it over chicken.
For years I’ve been watching my parents squish citrus over various things in our kitchen. Arugula salads, roasted Cornish hens, grilled swordfish, the cat. I adore the bright acidic burst that lemon showers onto an ordinary meal. Its tangy juice creates a fresh pop of tartness and its aromatic zest awakens and prickles the senses.
This dish tips the flavor scales in the other direction.
Stop licking the screen and go make yourself a snack.
Welcome back. How was your hummus?
Instead of the traditional
boy meets girl lemon meets chicken method where you cloak the bird in the citrus before it hits the oven–I let the juicy wedges tag along for the ride. Plump chicken thighs are seared until golden, and then the aromatics hit the pan. Shallots, earthy mushrooms, and whole lemons earn their very own crisp exterior with a dive into the skillet. Why take this extra step? Not only are these ingredients snuggling up to any juices big bird left behind, but color equals flavor and giving them a quick sear wakes them up and turns on their magic.
Everyone gathers together in an ovenproof dish and then a splash of wine here, a few woody herbs there, and into the oven we go. Once the chicken is tender and fully cooked, use a set of metal tongs to squeeze the warm lemons over the entire dish. Watch out for seeds and splashes and nosy neighbors who smell your dinner. The once-tart lemon is now gushing with sweet, roasty, caramelized flavors. And life as you knew it was never the same.
Your only regret will be that you never learned to speak citrus and have no idea how to properly express your gratitude. A simple basket of mini muffins will do. Yes, I’m talking about thanking the lemons. But just for your general knowledge, I prefer banana nut.
Now everyone nestle together in your
Rachael Ray Stoneware Bubble & Brown sturdy roasting dish and smile for the camera.
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Roasted Lemons & Thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
Coarse salt (such as sea salt or kosher salt)
Coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, roughly chopped
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
2 lemons, sliced in half
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 small bunch fresh thyme sprigs (reserve some to chop for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 400 °F
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Generously season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear each piece 3 to 4 minutes per side, and then remove them from the skillet and place into an oven-proof dish.
Turn the heat down on the skillet to medium and add the butter. Cook the shallots and mushrooms until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add to the dish with the chicken. Add the lemons to the skillet flesh side down and cook until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place the lemons into the baking dish with the chicken, shallots, and mushrooms. Add the white wine to the skillet and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Pour into the baking dish with the chicken and scatter the thyme sprigs throughout.
Roast until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the thighs.
Arrange the chicken onto a platter and carefully pour the contents of the pan on top. Using metal tongs, squeeze the roasted lemons over the entire dish. Garnish with the chopped fresh thyme.