Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Best Chicken with Lemon

Each month when the clinic session is over where I work, we have a celebratory dinner with the participants and their partners or spouses and the clinic personnel...about 20-30 people. Our chef, a talented young man who makes the best salad dressings, among other things, has a lemon chicken recipe that he makes for the entree'. The chicken is moist, tender, with a very flavorful sauce and crumb topping. It makes a sauce as it cooks whose dominant flavors are lemon and garlic.

For months I tried to figure out the recipe, but he always made the marinade, which is key, while I was in the office and away from the kitchen. He kept saying he would tell me the recipe, but never got around to it. Maybe that is because it is just the best lemon chicken? This month he went on vacation, so I was in charge of the dinner. I was expecting the recipe to be complicated and was a little anxious about making it. What if I blew it? Imaging my surprise when I found out that the recipe is very simple, but bold. Everyone seemed pleased with my effort, but the genius is G and his recipe.

Do try this recipe yourself...see if you agree that it is some of the absolutely most mouthwatering lemon chicken ever. Be sure to eat those garlic cloves. After such a nice time in the oven, they are often the consistency of butter. Mmmm. For smaller groups, divide by 1/3. Baking time will remain the same.

G's Lemon Chicken for a Crowd
Serves about 25-30

30 boneless skinless chicken pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil for coating pans
1-2 heads garlic
6 lemons
1 16 oz. jar Dijon mustard
10-12 branches fresh rosemary, each about 5 inches long, divided
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (use the real thing for best flavor)
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Arrange the boneless skinless chicken thighs (or substitute some boneless skinless chicken breasts if you wish) in three 11 x 13 baking pans where the bottom of the pan have been lightly oiled with the olive oil, evenly divided. Keep the chicken pieces touching each other. Place whole, unpeeled garlic cloves between some of the pieces, about 5-6 cloves of garlic per pan.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, the juice of 6 lemons, and 3-4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary. Whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over each pan of chicken. Tuck a few sprigs of remaining fresh rosemary between some of the chicken pieces in each pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 3-4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the chicken and place the pans in the oven, spacing evenly about the interior if possible. Bake for 40 minutes or until the juice runs clear when a piece of chicken is pierced.

If desired, about 10 minutes before the chicken is done, mix together the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and parsley; sprinkle this mixture evenly over the chicken, using about 1/3 for each pan. Return to oven to bake last 10 minutes.

Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or boiled potatoes, which bread to sop up the sauce. The sauce is mighty good. The chicken is amazing.

You can divide this recipe by 1/3 to make chicken for a family :) Leftovers are delicious, too. You can also freeze this, well wrapped, for a month. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350 degree oven until heated through, or in the microwave, reheating at no more than 50% power.


  1. Elle, I'm always looking for new, delicious recipes with chicken. With the addition of lemon, I'm sold!

  2. This sounds like such a delicious recipe! I love lemon chicken, but this one sounds better than any I've had before!

  3. The chicken looks good though I must admit that it is your asparagus that I am staring at. I don't think I have ever seen it grow that big! Wow.

  4. That's the biggest asparagus I've ever seen!

    Your lemon chicken sounds delish.

    BTW, there's an award for you on my blog here.

  5. Patricia, this is a good one. I forgot salt and pepper, but I usually add a little of each.

    Deborah, try is so good.

    Peabody, the plate is a salad size plate and the asparagus is a good fat one, but not huge...just looks that way :) Local market has some really good asparagus this year. The fat ones are the best.

    Mrs. W, As I told Peabody, it is a bit of an optical illusion. Thanks for the E ! I'll have to put together a list of ten...difficult since there are so many great blogs. I'm honored to be included.

  6. Just how lemon chicken should be, well done to chef!

  7. I like how the breadcrumbs nicely thickens the sauce.

  8. Anonymous8:38 PM

    This does sound really simple and delicious!
    That asparagus is huge! Mmmmm.

  9. Hi Elle,

    I have tagged you for a Six Word Memoir.
    Please go to my blog for info

    Thanks :)

  10. That looks amazing-- and easy. Think it would scale down well?