Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lemon Pepper Chicken a la Anderson

My mother makes the most amazing lemon pepper chicken and my mother in law makes a delicious roast lemon chicken.  This recipe is a blend of the two and brings out the best cooking methods in both. The recipe starts with a brine and ends with a roasting time in the oven and it is worth the effort because the flavor is intense and the meat literally falls off the bone.  Serve with these blue cheese biscuits from Smitten Kitchen and an old fashioned carrot salad (see recipe below) for a complete Sunday night meal that would have anyone begging for one more weekend day.


Brine (4 cups water + 1/4 cup table salt)

2 chicken legs + drumstick attached (or 2 pounds chicken pieces dark meat preferable)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cloves garlic
4 lemon slices
Pepper/salt (generous sprinkles)

Carrot Salad
3 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound carrots

1. Prepare brine at least 5 hours ahead of time.  Combine salt and water in pan and heat until it reaches a rolling boil.  Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Place chicken pieces in a deep dish, cover with cooled brine and let sit in fridge for at least two hours, no more than three
3. When ready to cook dinner, heat oven to 400 degrees
4. Carefully pull chicken skin back and place two lemon slices + garlic under the skin.   Cover and use a brush to baste with butter.  Repeat for other chicken leg.
5. Generously cover with pepper and salt
6. Set in oven for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and cook another 25 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 180 degrees
7. Meanwhile prepare carrot salad.  Grate carrots and place in a bowl.  Combine mayo, lemon juice, olive oil, and sugar and whisk until incorporated.  All dressing to bowl and mix carrots with the dressing.  Salt and pepper to taste.
8. When chicken is done, remove from oven and let rest a few minutes and then dish up with carrot salad and biscuits.

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