Sundays are great days to try new, more intensive recipes, so I figured, why not three! This Baked Lemon Chicken recipe from FoodNetwork had rave reviews, so I used bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken, since it is just two of us. For our starch, I wanted to try my hand at one of our favorite side dishes at a local restaurant, loaded mashed potato cakes. And of course, our favorite vegetable, Brussels Sprouts (add the beer and bacon!)
Baked Lemon Chicken
Two bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dredging
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Peel of half a lemon, white pith removed, cut into very thin strips
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in the flour and pat off the excess. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken skin-side down and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and reserve.
Discard the oil and wipe the pan out with a paper towel. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic, and rosemary, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the honey, lemon juice, and broth, increase the heat and bring to a simmer.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a 9- by 13-inch ovenproof casserole, and spread them out. Arrange the chicken, skin-side up in a single layer on the onions. Pour the cooking liquid over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven, basting every 15 minutes, until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
HUSBAND RATING: “Very tender and great flavor. I’d definitely do this again.” Baked chicken can tend to give your jaw a work-out, but not this one! I really liked it too :).
Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes
2 Russet Potatoes, peeled, cubed, boiled, mashed
2/3 cup Colby Jack cheese, grated
1 ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
2 tbsp chives, chopped
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until everything is uniformly incorporated. Using your hands, scoop out generous portions of the potato mixture, and shape it into patties about 1 inch thick. Spray a large pan/skillet with Pam and set it on the stove over medium/high heat. (I used the bacon grease from crisping the bacon) Cook mashed potato patties 3-4 at a time, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve warm, with sour cream and bacon bits.
HUSBAND RATING:”Eh, these are good, but not restaurant good. Not sure they’re worth the trouble when they taste like mashed potatoes.” Yeah… I’d just add some cheese to mashed potatoes for a lot less work and the same taste. They’re definitely pretty though!
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Beer
2 lbs Brussels Sprouts
6 oz. thick cut bacon, chopped
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
12 oz. bottle beer, something light and crisp
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper
Trim the ends of each Brussels Sprout, removing excess leaves. Cut the sprouts in half, leaving the smallest sprouts whole.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and saute until crisp.
Add the sliced shallot. Saute another 2-3 minutes to soften. Then add the Brussels Sprouts. Stir and sear the sides of the sprouts for 4-5 minutes.
Pour the bottle of beer into the skillet. Add the salt an both peppers. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat a little. Stir and simmer until the beer has reduced to a glaze and the sprouts are cooked through–12-15 minutes.
HUSBAND RATING: “Very yummy, but I’m not sure I like it with beer as much as the bacon, garlic recipe.” I actually liked it a lot with the beer glaze! It added a subtle sweetness to them.