Yummy Yum Yum – Lemon Baked Chicken

Lemon Baked Chicken

A close friend came over to my house today for lunch. I originally wanted to make something that I’ve made before, like some pasta or some-sort. You know, it is so easy for people to fall into comfort zones and become unwilling to step out and venture the “unknown”. Most of the time, I will try out the dessert/dish at least once before making it again for my friends to try. The only exception is with Z. I always call her my “rubbish-bin”, as she always eats up everything that I cook. I will talk about her more the next time. ;)

Like most people, I was half-scared and half-worried that if I try a new recipe, the dish may not turn out to be successful – worse still – what if the dish ended up to be unpalatable?  I seriously cannot imagine how ashamed and embarrassed I will be.

However, she assured me on MSN again and again, telling me that I can make anything, anything in the world that I have not tried before. So I decided to give it a shot – but of course, I chose a very simple recipe to make today. (:

I made this dish by adapting it from Food and Wine’s recipe. The original recipe calls for Dijon mustard but nobody in my family touches mustard, so I left that ingredient out and just use what I have on hand. One good thing about this dish is that the lemon juice, being acidic, helps to tenderize the meat and gives the chicken a very subtle lemony and citrus-y boost. This recipe is pretty simple, just marinate the chicken before delivering it into the oven for a bake. I chose to use chicken drumlets instead of chicken breasts as I just like to eat chicken drumlets much more than chicken breasts. The meat is more tender and juicy – but it’s simply up to you. (:

I served the chicken with some lemon baked fries, which my friend and I both agreed that they were a tad too lemony. I guess I will just stick to the normal baked fries, croquettes or maybe mashed potatoes the next time.

Here’s the recipe!

Lemon Baked Chicken (serves 2)
adapted from Food and Wine

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon dried basil flakes (optional)
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano (optional)
2 ~200-grams chicken breast/chicken drumlets
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper –> this is a must!
Olive oil

In a deep dish, combine the lemon juice, water, dried basil and dried oregano. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 1/2 hours up to 2 hours, turning once to coat the other side.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Transfer the chicken to a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush one side with the marinade. Sprinkle the salt and freshly ground black pepper and brush with a little olive oil. Turn the chicken onto the other side and repeat.

Bake the chicken (skins side up!) for 40 to 45 minutes till cooked through. Turn the heat up to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crispy.

Transfer the chicken onto serving plates and serve with baked fries or anything you like. (:

*You can substitute 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and parsley for the dried basil and oregano.

P.S. Thanks Jen! Enjoy and have fun making them too! ;)

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