This is not the lemon chicken recipe that I made with lemon juice and fish sauce once in my college years–gotta find that recipe–but Susan Branch’s rendering is so pretty, I just had to try it. This is a lovely, simple lemon chicken recipe and goes perfectly with browned rosemary potatoes and asparagus. It’s a great way to make chicken, too, period. Adding lemon, as usual, just elevates things to a whole new level… The sauce is not really a sauce, as such. I prefer to call it lemon butter.
And while this recipe is lovely in and of itself, you can punch it up a notch by substituting fresh rosemary for the parsley. Enjoy Susan’s artistry and then read on for my inspired improvisation of…Lemon Chicken.
After coating in flour, fry the chicken breast halves in the butter and olive oil until golden brown. Take care to monitor the heat so that butter doesn’t blacken.
Now here’s where the improvisation inspiration comes in. As I didn’t have parsley flakes, either fresh or dried, I tiptoed out to my herb garden on a February night to snip branches of “winter hardy” rosemary–first time in five years that it has actually survived, mind you. After frying up the chicken until golden on each side, and removing it from the skillet to a warming pan, I looked at all that browned butter and could not resist but to add the organic, local potatoes I had just boiled and the fresh rosemary I just snipped.
After browning the potatoes and placing them in a warm oven next to the chicken, throw a big bunch of fresh asparagus into boiling water. Next, add the 4 Tbs. butter to your skillet and scrape down browned bits. Stir in lemon juice (I used half of a Meyer lemon) along with more freshly chopped rosemary leaves. Again, watch the butter, taking care to lower the heat so butter becomes nutty but not burnt. When asparagus is tender and bright green, plate with chicken and potatoes. Drizzle the lemon-rosemary butter over the chicken and asparagus. Add a wedge of lemon and rosemary sprig for garnish. Serve with a white wine that is complementary to poultry and lemon. Recommendations anyone?
“Mmm,” the boyfriend says between inhaling bites. “I can taste the rosemary. Rosemary is my favorite herb, I think.” “Squeeze the lemon wedge over your chicken,” I encourage. “Can you smell that? The fragrant lemon and astringent rosemary are a match made in culinary heaven. So good together.” “They’re friends,” he agrees. We both nod and succumb to eating in silence, letting our taste buds and olfactory senses do the talking. “It’s still relatively healthy since it’s chicken, right?” he asks, after consuming the butter goodness. “Right,” I say. “That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.” “And for dessert?” he leads… “Lemon bars,” I reply. But, of course.