Thursday, December 15, 2016

Herb and Garlic Roast Chicken

Have you had a day when it's 6 pm and dinner is the last thing on your mind? Most people would order takeout. As that thought occurs to me, the Food section of the NYT beckons. The year's standout recipes tempt me, especially the Middle Eastern chicken. With boneless chicken thighs on the counter, I am compelled to make the chicken.

The most laborious part is peeling and chopping garlic. I could use store bought garlic paste, but it lacks the punch fresh garlic has. Fresh herbs are the second component. Parsley, mint, thyme and marjoram sound lyrical and taste even better. Lemon, sesame seeds and sumac add more punch. As I chop and squeeze, I imagine a burnished roasted thigh. 

Adapted from the New York Times 
Serves 4

8 boneless skinless Chicken Thighs (about 2 pounds)
5 large Garlic cloves, minced fine
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil 
2 tablespoons minced Parsley
2 tablespoons minced Mint leaves
1 tablespoon Thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced Marjoram 
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Sumac
1 tablespoon Olive Oil 

Trim visible fat off chicken. Cut thighs in half and place in a nonreactive bowl.

Add minced garlic, lemon zest and juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, minced herbs, salt, sesame seeds and sumac to chicken thighs. Mix well so thighs are coated with herbs and garlic. Keep aside for 2 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350F.

Heat a large cast iron pan over high heat. Or use a cast iron griddle.

Add remaining olive oil.

When it shimmers lay chicken in pan. Brown chicken on both sides.

If you are using a cast iron pan, put pan into oven and cook chicken for 15 minutes. If you have used a griddle, put chicken in an oven proof dish and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve chicken hot with some crusty bread or pita.


Cast iron gives the chicken a great sear. A good ovenproof nonstick pan works well too. I suggested a griddle as you get similar results as the cast iron. In the end these are just guides. Use what works best for you. 

Chicken comes to the table sizzling in cast iron. I see bits of browned garlic and herbs. Moist and lemon flavored, the thighs make a delicious dinner. We cast our vote for this bird.

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