I love lemons. I love to cook with them. I love to decorate with them. I love to mix drinks with them. I love them. Period. Anything with a lemon motif on it i’m usually drawn to. So of course we have a lemon tree in the backyard.
That’s the last lemon standing for this harvest season. Unfortunately this year it didn’t yield as much fruit as in years past. I think it’s because it was unseasonably warm this winter and Meyer lemons, which is the kind of tree we have, thrive in the colder & rainy San Francisco winters. Regardless, I still use a ton of lemons. You can read about a good lemon year here.
If you follow along here you know I recently decorated with lemons to get into the spring mode. See all those lemons? Well I only have a couple left.
I’ve seen a ton of articles regarding the benefits of warm lemon water. Some include honey and some don’t. I’ve opted to include some good local honey since I happened to be at my hair stylist recently & at her station she had these jars of local honey her co-worker makes with her husband so I thought I’d give it a try.
The honey is yummy but I think I’ll try another local one from the farmer’s market when I’m done with this one just to compare. \Some of the articles explained that the quality of the lemons, organic, etc. could affect the benefits. So I’m thinking the same about the honey.
I’ve been drinking a warm cup of water with lemon & honey every morning instead of coffee and I have to admit I am feeling it. Some of the benefits I’ve read about include: boosts immune system, aids digestion, cleanses liver and kidneys, balances ph level, clears skin, aids weight loss, hydrates lymph system and there’s plenty more I can’t remember. I don’t miss my cup of coffee since it was simply ritualist. I switched to decaf during my first pregnancy & never went back so there’s no caffeine boost to miss. It was simply a warm beverage to get going in the morning. I still have a cup of coffee here & there since I like the taste, but not 1st thing in the morning. try it, I think you’ll enjoy it.
And one of my easy, go to, during the week dinners is roasted lemon chicken. I roast the chicken with russet potatoes, yams & onions but you could really use whatever veggies you like. I don’t necessarily have a recipe per se but I’ll share what I do.
For the marinade I use lemons, olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. I totally eyeball it all and adjust it to taste. This time around I used 6 lemons and about 1/4 cup of olive oil for a packet of drumsticks and a packet of wings. I also slipped with the red pepper and was more heavy handed than usual hence the reddish tint to the marinade. nobody noticed or said a word and we ate it all so no complaints.
You can use whatever chicken parts you prefer. Sometimes I used thighs or on seldom occasion breasts. We tend to be more of a dark meat family for this application but all parts work equally well, it’s just a preference thing. I marinade the chicken for as long as I can. Sometimes it’s just 1/2 hour and other times it’s several hours in the fridge. If you have it in the fridge just take it out about 1/2 hour before you roast it to bring it back to room temperature. This goes for all meats, weather cooking in the oven, stove top or grill.
I roast it all together in a big roasting pan. I cube the potatoes & onions and toss them all together with olive oil and salt & pepper before arranging them in the pan with the chicken. I put all the marinade over the chicken which makes for great juices. Note I start with the skin side up and then I roast it like this:
20 minutes @ 350 degrees (then turn it over so skin is side down in the juices)
20 minutes @ 375 degrees (then turn it over so skin is back side up)
20 minutes @ 400 degrees
5 minutes with the broiler on low to get that crispy outside layer
don’t ask me why I do it this way or how I developed this technique but it cooks it perfectly juicy every time.
I created this recipe from memory of what my mom use to make and what we like as a family. My parental grandparents made their’s with saffron since they were from Spain and that’s a common spice there. And my mother-in-law made a similar version to mine based on Sicilian cooking. I think every ethnicity has their version of roasted chicken.
Do you have a favorite roasted chicken recipe?