Sense of Home Kitchen
I love the conversations I have at work with customers. Just today there was a couple of women in that were asking about dehydrated lemons, not dried lemon peel, or powdered lemon to make lemonade, or even the sliced dehydrated lemons or preserved lemons I make, no, she was looking for the whole lemon, dehydrated. I had never heard of this product before (we sadly do not have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods anywhere near us, but then again that is good for our indie business that has survived over 20 years), but I was fascinated and had to know more. She said she puts the whole dried lemon in a coffee grinder, grinds it, and adds the powder to her Moroccan dishes.
As soon as I got home I began searching for dried whole lemons and found them here, you can find anything on the Internet (don't tell my customers). I also learned through some searching that they can be tossed whole into a tagine with chicken or lamb, spices, and vegetables for a Moroccan dish and I have found recipes for Iranian stews using the whole dried lemon. So I am excited to give these recipes a try and this is back on my wishlist!
I also received the May Bon Appetit magazine in the mail yesterday, a subscription that I have been missing, I have already found several recipes I intend to make over the coarse of the summer, so I can see I am going to need more cooking time. With the garden, canning and trying new recipes it will be a busy, but fun, summer. My pantry is looking rather empty and I am in need of some serious canning, Starting tomorrow with rhubarb sauce.
Braised Chicken with Lemon Slices and Moscato
~Sense of Home Kitchen~
This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, by Judy Rodgers. I would love to eat at her Cafe some day, I have learned so much from reading her cookbook and it is my hope that she is busy working on a second book.
The contrast of sweet Moscato wine with lemons in this recipe is fantastic and your house will smell wonderful. Braising is done at a lower temperature than roasting, and for a longer cooking time, allowing the flavors to develop.
Start with a very good chicken, preferably locally raised. The chickens we helped butcher have been some of the most flavorful chicken we have ever had, we attribute this to the natural way they were raised.
Serves 4 to 6
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion (ends trimmed, peeled and cut into wedges)
3 shallots (peeled and cut in half)
1 1/2 cups Moscato
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried lemon thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked slightly in a mortar
15 to 20 dried lemon slices
Sprinkle the whole chicken with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. This seasoning hours before braising brings out the full rich flavor of the chicken and is based on the cooking methods of Judy Rodgers from the famous Zuni Cafe.
Place dried lemon slices in a bowl and pour moscato over the top, let soak for at least 30 minutes to plump up the lemons and infuse the wine. Reserve both.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Pat the chicken dry to prevent sticking to the pan. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, add chicken and cook until the skin is evenly golden, turning chicken and adjusting the heat as needed.
Place chicken in an oven-proof baking dish and tie the legs with kitchen string to keep them together. Place onion and shallot wedges around the bird. Drain lemon slices, reserving both the moscato and lemons. Add the lemon infused moscato, sherry and chicken stock to the baking dish making sure the liquid only comes to a depth of approximately 1-inch. Add bay leaf to the dish and sprinkle chicken with thyme and cracked peppercorns. Place moscato soaked lemons on, in and around the bird.
Although the braising pan is normally covered tightly, leave the chicken uncovered and place in preheated oven, basting three or four times throughout the cooking process, pouring juices over the charred lemons to infuse the broth and chicken with the wonderful flavor. Braise for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender and juices run clear between the leg and thigh or the thigh temperature is 165° when tested with a meat thermometer.
Remove from the oven and let rest while you pour the juices from the baking dish into a saucepan. Skim as much fat off the top as you can remove and place the saucepan over medium-high heat and boil until the sauce reduces and thickens, making a fabulously rich tasting sauce.
Serve chicken with sauce on the side.
Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Poultry