Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lemon Butter Chicken

If you know me at all, or have read this blog for any length of time, you know I love to cook. That seems like a ridiculous statement because, duh, why else would I have a food blog. But I say that because, as you may assume, my love of cooking means I've done quite a lot of it over the course of my life. So for me to say this Lemon Butter Chicken is one of the Top Ten Best Things I've Ever Cooked...Ever carries a lot of weight.

Lemon butter chicken

I'm not even exaggerating. We all swooned over this meal. Katie and I each ate one thigh and then she asked to split another with me. She might be a good eater but that's still a lot of food for her. I cooked all 8 thighs, thinking we'd have a ton of leftovers, but between the three of us we easily ate it all between dinner and lunch the next day.

The sauce is what makes this so amazing. It's garlicky and creamy and positively drinkable. You'll want a nice mound of fluffy mashed potatoes (or even some crusty bread) to sop it all up. The only changes I made were to lighten it up a bit by using half-and-half rather than heavy cream (a substitution I've been making for years), and to use fresh thyme.

And, as if you need another reason to run right out and make this, it's SO EASY. Like, ridiculously easy. A novice chef could make this without any issues. All you have to do is season and brown the chicken, then pour over the sauce, wilt in some spinach and pop it in the oven. Chicken thighs are incredibly forgiving, so you can't mess this one up. Do yourself a favor and make this meal ASAP.

Lemon Butter Chicken
Ever so slightly modified from Damn Delicious

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Smoked paprika, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 6oz bag baby spinach

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken thighs with paprika, salt and pepper, to taste. Combine the chicken broth, half-and-half, Parmesan, lemon juice and thyme in a measuring cup or bowl.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down. Sear both sides until they're golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the thighs to a plate and discard the excess fat in the skillet.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sauce ingredients (chicken broth, etc.) you combined earlier. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and stir in the spinach. Stir the sauce to wilt the spinach. Place the thighs back in the skillet.

Put the skillet into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove, remembering to place a pot holder on the handle so you don't burn yourself. Serve immediately over mashed potatoes.

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