Flattened Chicken Thighs With Roasted Lemon Slices

My buddy is always teasing me because I never roast a whole chicken. She makes a beautiful roasted “lemon chicken” weekly for her family. Well, I don’t need to roast an entire chicken when there are dishes like this! Besides, we only want the thigh meat in my house. 🙂

This recipe was described as an “easy, super fragrant weeknight version of classic chicken under a brick,” using chicken thighs instead of a butterflied whole bird. I took it a step further by using boneless, skinless chicken thighs (my favorite), reducing the cooking time even further. (and reducing the fat!)

This dish was truly flavor-packed from the loaded garlic-herb-lemon marinade. I marinated the chicken overnight. After pan-searing under a weight, the chicken is finished by oven roasting it over lemon slices- my kind of “lemon chicken!” 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Mozza at Home by Nancy Silverton via The New York Times, contributed by Julia Moskin. We ate it with roasted potatoes, broccoli and acorn squash. Absolutely delicious.

I’m sharing my special chicken at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #159 co-hosted by Zeba @Food for the Soul and Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook. Enjoy!

Yield: 6 to 10 servings

For the Marinade:

  • 2 lemons, rinsed
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme or oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 10 to 12 medium or large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the Chicken:

  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil, enough to coat the bottom of the skillet
  • 2 lemons, rinsed (I used the lemons from the marinade)
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • fresh thyme or oregano sprigs and sage leaves, for garnish
  1. Make the marinade: Use a vegetable peeler to shave 9 large strips of peel from the lemons, taking care to cut into only the brightest yellow outer layer. Put strips in a large bowl or ziplock bag and add thyme or oregano, sage, parsley, garlic, red chile flakes and olive oil.
  2. Prepare the chicken: Put the thighs in the bag or bowl with the marinade. Turn the thighs gently to coat with the marinade. Seal the bag or cover bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. (I place the ziplock bag in a glass baking dish in case it leaks.)
  3. When ready to cook, remove thighs from marinade and place them on a baking sheet. (Reserve garlic cloves and lemon peel from the marinade; discard the liquid.)
  4. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the chicken, then turn over and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs, “skin side” down, to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Put it over medium-high heat, cover with parchment paper, and weigh down the chicken with the bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. (Or, use a lighter skillet weighed down with a large full can, a brick or another heavy object.)
  6. Once chicken is sizzling loudly, reduce heat to medium and cook without moving for about 5 minutes, until brown and crisp. To check for doneness, gently lift the corner of a chicken thigh with a metal spatula. The meat will come away cleanly from the bottom of the pan when it is done. If it is still stuck, do not pull but let it cook a little longer.
  7. When thighs are done, remove the weight and lift the chicken out of the pan. Transfer the thighs, browned side up, to a plate. Pour off most of the fat from the skillet, if necessary.
  8. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
  9. Cut lemons in half and squeeze gently to remove some of the juice. Cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices and lay on paper towels to absorb more juice.
  10. Place a layer of lemon slices in the skillet. Return all the browned chicken to the skillet on top of the lemons, browned side up. Tuck reserved lemon peel and garlic cloves down between the pieces. Tuck the remaining fresh sage leaves between the pieces as well.
  11. Transfer skillet to oven for 7 to 10 minutes. To test, remove a thigh, pierce it on the flesh side with a knife, and check that the juices are clear, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  12. Remove pan from oven and let thighs rest in the pan 5 to 10 minutes.
  13. Garnish with thyme or oregano sprigs and fresh sage around the thighs and serve from the pan at the table, with roasted lemon slices and garlic cloves.

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

25 responses to “Flattened Chicken Thighs With Roasted Lemon Slices

  1. My favorite chicken part too, by far! Love this concept – I never had the patience for the brick thing, although of course it makes sense and probably results in a delicious chicken

    this version is definitely up my alley!

    have a nice weekend!

  2. jessicanadelson

    Your buddy will try this one right away…….never met a lemon chicken I didn’t like! But you should try roasting a whole chicken…..so easy and hands off!

  3. Looks delicious. I like the styling. Doesn’t seem like a difficult recipe.

  4. This recipe is amazing! This is such a nice idea for Sunday’s lunch!

  5. You need to make sure you have extra because I super love chicken thighs, too. 😀 The recipe seems so simple, but I love the combination of the ingredients which makes this one really outstanding! Thanks for sharing, Josette. Happy Fiesta Friday!

  6. We are chicken breast people in my house (hence the lack of thigh recipes). I did ask my husband if he would mind if I tried experimenting with some chicken thighs recipes, and it was a flat out NO. However, he does like chicken legs, and I also like the wings. So when we roast a chicken, I usually use the thigh meat mixed in with some breast in a soup, so nothing is wasted. And then I make a chicken stock with the carcass. That being said, I think this would be a wonderful dinner with some smaller breasts! I love lemon and chicken together.

    • Husbands… Of course this would be wonderful with chicken breasts too! 😉 You must try it. The original recipe used bone-in and skin-on thighs. I’m sure it would result in fabulous crispy skin… but that’ not my thing. My husband would have LOVED it. 😉

  7. Josette…this recipe looks so good. I would normally just throw everything on a sheet pan and in the oven. I am now inspired to “sizzle and brown”. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I just adore chicken and lemon together, and this chicken looks like it’s cooked perfectly!

  9. Love that cookbook, your spin is a wonderful adaptation. Thighs are the part of choice in our household as well. They are so flavorful.

  10. I’m with you on just wanting the thigh meat!! This looks wonderful – healthy and filling.

  11. Josette, this looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  12. I would fit right in with your household. I, too, do not care for anything but the dark meat of poultry. So, when do I move in? 😀

  13. Pingback: 25 Chicken Recipes for Dinner Tonight - The Country Chic Cottage

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