Lemon-Garlic Chicken

We went out and did some shopping this afternoon, finishing our shopping day by visiting a new grocery store. In the meat section, they had some delicious and fresh-looking chicken quarters at a great price: $4.77 for 3 1/2 pounds (4 leg quarters). They also had some pretty fresh-looking lemons.

As usual, I made this up on the fly, but based it off a dish that Jessie and her mother had at Fitzgerald’s in Sawyer, Mich., last summer. I didn’t taste it there, but it sounded delicious.

The end result of this dish was excellent. The chicken was cooked to perfection – juicy and flavorful. The nice side-effect of this dish is that it also makes your kitchen smell amazing.

Here’s what I used. This will serve two:

  • 2 chicken leg quarters with the skin intact
  • 1 bottle dry Riesling wine
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped sage
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Here’s what I did:

  • Peel all of the garlic cloves, then cut each in half lengthwise
  • Peel the lemon, reserving a few of the pieces of the peel. Cut the lemon in half, then from one half, cut four slices. From those slices, cut your individual wedge pieces. Combine with the garlic pieces in a prep bowl and set aside.
  • Pour 1 cup of the Riesling into a different prep bowl and mix in the sage, thyme, soy sauce, and a few pieces of the lemon peel.
  • Preheat your oven to 365 degrees F.
  • Prepare the chicken: Make pockets under the chicken skin and stuff with the garlic and lemon pieces. I prefer to wear food-grade latex gloves for this step, and if you try it barehanded, make sure and clean carefully under your fingernails afterwards. You’ll want to be generous with the lemon and garlic pieces, and don’t worry if a few of the pieces may fall out during cooking.
  • Put your favorite stove-to-oven vessel (I prefer the Le Creuset Round French Oven) on the stove and heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the chicken on both sides, and don’t be afraid to get it close to burning.
  • Add the wine and herb mixture and the rest of the bottle of Riesling, topping off with three Bay leaves.
  • Cook in a 365-degree oven for an hour, then serve.

Jessie made a lemon risotto that was quite good to go along with this dish. If you try it and find a way to improve on it, please let me know.

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  3. Saturday Night Improv: Chorizo-stuffed chicken breast
  4. Quick chicken tacos with salsa verde
  5. Hawaiian Favorites – Ninniku-Ya

About the Author

Owner of a graphic design firm specializing in magazine design and wannabe chef. Former resident of Belgium, the United Kingdom and...North Dakota.