Friday April 4, 2008

My grandparents continually bless us with the gift of Meyer Lemons, a California joy we love. And something we do not have to endure missing too often! They seem to bring us bags & boxes of lemons every time they come visit, and a couple of months ago, there were actually two (heavy!) boxes of lemons delivered to my door by Mr. UPS. How fun! My mom, sis-in-law, and I enjoy incorporating these citrus gold mines into our culinary creations. My favorites are lemon bars, poppyseed-lemon pound cake, and the basic broiled salmon with lemon. Mmm! However, I have tried breaking out of the mold twice lately… here are my two most recently tried recipes in which these lemons have been enjoyed.

Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

1 large lemon, sliced
2 Tblsp olive oil
grated rind of 1 lemon
all the juice of that same lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I cut them into smaller pieces to shorten the cooking time)
6 small vine-ripened tomatoes, whole
10 kalamata olives
4 white potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks (small red potatoes, halved, would be great)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
2. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of a baking dish.
3. Combine oil and next six ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken, tomatoes, olives, and potato; toss to coat well.
4. Arrange chicken in a single layer over lemon slices. Arrange remaining mixture over top.
5. Bake at 450 F for 45-60 minutes, until chicken is done.
(we ate this with a salad of romaine, sunflower seeds, and cucumber; as well as fresh bread. I think the sauce would have been slightly improved with some thickening of cornstarch)

Lemon Garlic Crock-Pot Chicken

1-2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, whole
2 Tblsp butter
1/3 cup water
~3 Tblsp lemon juice (I just used one whole large lemon)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules

1. Coat chicken with Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Brown chicken in a skillet with butter. Transfer to crock pot.
2. Place water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon in the skillet. Bring to a boil, and loosen browned bits from the pan. Pour over the chicken in the crock pot.
3. Cover. Cook on low for ~4 hours.
(we ate this with rice pilaf, roasted carrots & asparagus, and fresh whole wheat bread; I garnished the chicken with extra lemon slices, and made sure to serve each piece of chicken with plenty of the juice to keep both the flavor and the moist texture as strong as possible)
…sorry, I don’t think I took a picture of this meal when we had it a couple weeks ago…

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