Lemony Chicken & Rice

Happy Friday!

If you are looking for comfort food that won’t make you feel like you’re in a coma, this Lemony Chicken & Rice recipe is for you!

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This dish is super easy to make. It’s become a staple dinner dish in my household. Every Sunday, I ask my husband what he wants to eat for the week so I can prep and every Sunday, he will say, “that lemony chicken dish with rice.”

My favorite thing about this dish is that it tastes even better the next day (If you know me, you know that besides pizza & spaghetti, I hate leftovers)! I’ll usually make this at night so Kaykay can bring it to lunch the next day. Additionally, like most dishes I cook, this is effortless and even Hellen Keller can make this.

The most annoying thing about this dish is that it requires marinating the chicken. It can easily be solved by prepping it the night before or the morning of cooking! It also requires 2 pans, but it can easily be 1 pan if you’re an expert cast iron skillet cooker (I’ll expand on this later in the directions).

Let’s get cooking.

LEMONY CHICKEN & RICE

INGREDIENTS

Chicken & Marinade

  • 4-5 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in*
  • 2 medium lemons (you will need all the zest + 4 tablespoons of juice)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (use the pre-minced garlic jar to save time)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Rice

  • Olive oil, about 1 1/2 tablespoons, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (yellow or red works)
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked (jasmine rice is my favorite)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Parsley or oregano, garnish, optional

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Microplane
  • Handheld citrus juicer
  • Cast iron skillet, at least an 8-inch one*
  • Regular non-stick skillet, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Zest your lemons with a microplane and squeeze the juice. Combine the lemon zest & juice with ALL of the marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag (or bowl) and set aside in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, but no longer than 24 hours.
  2. After the chicken has marinated, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, BUT reserve the marinade.
  4. Heat about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in the non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, skin-side down first, until golden brown (takes about 3-4 minutes on each side) and remove from heat. The chicken will be raw. This is fine for now.
  5. While the chicken is browning, heat up your cast iron skillet in medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add diced onions and cook for 2 minutes, then add the rice, chicken broth/stock, water, dried oregano, salt & pepper, and the reserved marinade. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 seconds.
    • If you want to only use 1 pan, use the cast iron skillet to cook the chicken too. After browning the chicken on both sides, you will need to set aside the chicken in a bowl/plate. Pour off the fat and wipe out the skillet roughly with a paper towel, then follow step #5 normally on the cast iron skillet (yes you will still need to add the olive oil since you wiped off the old oil).
  6. Place the browned chicken on top of the rice (it will be partially submerged), then loosely cover the skillet with foil and bake for 40 – 45 minutes*.
  7. After baking, take the skillet out of the oven and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. Garnish with parsley or oregano if you want.

NOTES:

  • When buying chicken thighs at the grocery store, I usually opt for the pasture raised, organic chicken thighs. The goal is to buy the smallest, most natural looking pieces as possible. You can really tell the difference in smell, quality, and how it cooks.
  • I have an 8-inch cast iron skillet and when I make this dish, I’m very careful when pouring the liquids and placing the chicken on top before putting in the oven because it might splash on me. If you’re using a 10 or 12 inch skillet, you shouldn’t have this problem.
  • We have Face Recognition smart phones, but we still can’t get ovens right. Each oven is different – some run hotter and some run colder. Make sure you check the doneness of your chicken when you take it out the oven. Run a knife through the underside of the thigh and make sure the juices run clear. If not, put it back in the oven for a little bit more until fully cooked. If using a food thermometer, measuring to 165 F is a good sign that it’s done.

Bon Appetit!

DLJ

Favorite Kitchen Tools

Today I’d like to share my favorite kitchen tools!

I know this might seem silly, but I think that having the right tools in the kitchen makes a difference in your mood when cooking. By mood, I mean that I used to get so grumpy every time a recipe says “zest of a lemon” because I hated using my large cheese grater to zest a tiny lemon. While it does essentially the same job, switching to a microplane changed my life. Before I start rambling, my point is that having the right tools in your kitchen can make a difference in the ease of cooking. I use these items almost every single time I cook/bake. When I’m working in someone else’s kitchen, I feel like one of my arms are cut off if I don’t have these on hand. In no particular order, here are my favorite kitchen friends:

Microplane, $12.95, Amazon:

Microplane

This little guy surprised me. I didn’t know I needed him in my life until he came along. Now I don’t know what I’d do without him. Really, the biggest difference between a regular grater and a microplane is that microplanes shave much more finely and have better consistency than a grater. As I mentioned above, this guy save my citrus-zesting game. When I first used this, it increased the flavor & efficiency in my cooking. While I mostly use it for lemon/lime zest, I also use this for: hard cheeses (Parmesan), fresh ginger, fresh nutmeg (when I make apple pie!), and garlic. It can also be used for other things like chocolate shavings, coconut shavings, etc.

OXO 2oz Mini Angled Measuring Cup, $4.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

OXO Measuring Cup

Alright, this measuring cup is the unicorn of all measuring cups. This exact one is hard to find (I found mine at my local liquor store. I own 3 of these). Yes, it’s only 2oz (1/4 cup). Yes, it looks like a normal measuring cup, but it’s not! It measures tablespoons on one side, ounces on the other, and mL on one side too. The calibrations are printed on the cup’s sides (as usual) AND it’s printed inside the cup that’s angled so it can be read from above. It means that you don’t have to bend down or hold it up to determine how much liquid it contains. (It’s the little things, guys). I love this because it measures small volumes of liquid very accurately since most 1-cup measuring cups won’t give you the markings for less than 1/4 cup. While this is plastic, it’s very durable. I hand wash it for the most part, but I run it through the dishwasher anytime I use it for oily liquids. This is definitely my most-used kitchen tool.

KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper, $39.99, Target

Food processor

I honestly don’t know what my life was like before I got this food processor. How did I mince garlic? How did I chop basil? How did I make corn flake crumbs? How did I make salad dressing? This food processor is the Kristin Chenoweth of kitchen tools – she’s tiny but her voice is so damn powerful. This will be your new best friend if you hate chopping things like basil, cilantro, garlic, and other veggies. You can also use this to puree vegetables. It’s perfect for those who have a small kitchen like myself! This is SUPER easy to take apart, wash, and put back together (I’m literally laughing out loud because I’m reading reviews/comments on how people are like “it’s too many things to snap together!!!” because the whole thing is only 5 pieces).

Citrus juicer, $4.99, Amazon

Citrus Juicer

These are a game changer when you need fresh lime & lemon juice. There’s not much to say about this except that you need one. My advice is that you need a heavy duty one, not a plastic one. I don’t suggest buying it online – go to the store and feel the weight. Also, there’s a lot of fancy versions of a handheld juicer that are super expensive. You probably don’t need that one, so save your money and get the most simple, heavy duty one!

Silpat Baking Sheet, $28.99, Amazon

Silpat

These silicone sheets are so exciting!! They are thin, flexible mats that can be used instead of parchment paper when baking. Cookies and pastries come off without tearing because of its nonstick surface, and it makes cleaning up so easy! I also place these on my counter when I’m kneading or rolling out dough. Just make sure you order the right size for your baking sheet!

KitchenAid KSM150 Artisan Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $299.99, Best Buy

Stand Mixer

Every time I use my stand mixer, I can’t help but sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” because it really is just too good to be true. Before I finally caved in and bought one, I was using a handheld electric mixer. It was very messy. I do not miss it. But this stand mixer works magic. Even Dumbledore won’t be able knead dough like this guy with the Elder Wand. If baking is your hobby, you need a stand mixer. The one I have is a 4.5 quart, the tilt-head makes it easy for you to add ingredients, it comes with 3 beater attachments, and it’s yellow! There are a bunch of different kinds of stand mixers in the market, so if you are interested in getting one, do your research on which one will work best for your needs. I’m not a heavy baker so I don’t need the super fancy one. One last note: I suggest purchasing it from Target or Best Buy since they often put these stand mixers on sale. I purchased mine from Best Buy because you can get 10% cash back or finance it without interest with a credit card.

8-inch Knife, $30.00, Amazon

Knife

Having a good knife is essential to cooking. This one is my favorite. Oooo it slices, dices, and chops soooo good. It’s relatively inexpensive too. I know that there are $200 knives out there, but my eyes are set on this one. The important thing to know about knives is how to take care of them. Make sure you clean it immediately after use and dry it right after washing.

Food Thermometer, $9.99, Amazon

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My favorite for measuring temperature the doneness of meat and hotness of oil. This is an important tool to have!

Digital Food Scale, $10.85, Amazon

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Doesn’t really matter which brand of digital scale you get. All that matters is that you get one that measures both ounces and grams! My favorite use for the digital scale is for baking. I used to use cups/teaspoons measurements for baking until a good friend gave me very great advice and said weighing dry ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.) is more accurate and always yields better results. He told no lies. I found that my dough is always more consistent when I measured weight vs using cups/teaspoons. He is a fairy godmother.

Anyway, I think that’s all for today. I hope you like this post. I know it’s a little weird to talk about kitchen tools, but having the right ones is something I feel strongly about.

Until next time,

DLJ