Let’s keep it real: almost everyone loves chicken. It often represents a cheap, easy, – but undeniably tasty- dish that we can tweak, adjust, and prepare in a plethora of different ways. For the “culinarilly” (yes I made that word up) inclined, chicken is a dish that can be easily transformed into something both elegant and delicious.
Here, you’ll find an easy way to transform what is often (erroneously, in my opinion) considered to be the inferior pieces of chicken – thighs and legs – into something downright delectable. Do what I like to do: throw this in the oven, cook it up, and use some of those pan drippings to make a gravy, or even just to flavor some rice or couscous. What you end up with is a belly warming home cooked meal that has the ability to garner both envy and respect from your friends, family and romantic prospects alike.
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion (any kind), thinly sliced
2 whole lemons, one juiced and one sliced
2 whole oranges, one juiced and one sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, or fresh chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or fresh chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley), for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
Place chicken in a large baking dish. Place parts skin side up and spread them out evenly in the pan. Pour olive oil mixture all over chicken, turning pieces to coat all sides. (If you marinated the chicken in this mixture, still add it all in). Arrange slices of lemon, orange and onion around and under the chicken. Sprinkle all over generously with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear. Remove parts to a serving platter and garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired.
Feel free to use boneless (but never skinless!) chicken breasts in place of chicken parts. For best results, chicken can be marinated in a plastic container or bag for several hours or overnight in the olive oil mixture.
This is great served with a big salad, and/or rice, orzo, couscous, potatoes, and garlic bread! You can also switch up the seasonings to a more Latino influenced mix and toss in lemons and limes instead of orange, and swap cilantro for the rosemary and thyme.