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Lemon Chicken

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This chicken has a crisp golden crust and the zing of fresh lemon. It’s great hot, and also terrific cold, making it perfect picnic fare.

NotesLemons remind us of all things cool, fresh, and sparkling. They just naturally heighten flavors by helping to awaken your taste buds. You’ll find the best flavor and the most juice in small, round or oval, smooth-skinned eureka or lisbon lemons. The Meyer lemon, which is believed to be a hybrid of a lemon and an orange, is less acidic than the more common eureka and lisbon varieties, and therefore sweeter. Store lemons at room temperature and you will obtain more juice from them, unless you’re planning to keep them for some time. Some stimulating ideas:

1. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over steamed vegetables before you toss them with butter.

2. Sprinkle lemon juice over new potatoes before tossing with butter and fresh dill.

3. Always serve lemon with shellfish or French fried potatoes.

4. Serve lemon with most cold or hot soups; it intensifies the flavor.

5. Add lemon to sour cream for dips; it perks up the flavor.

6. Substitute lemon juice for vinegar in salad dressing.

7. Drizzle fresh lemon juice over scrambled eggs, then sprinkle with fresh italian (flat-leaf) parsley.

8. Serve lemon and black pepper with oysters, clams, or smoked salmon.

9. Squeeze lemon over cut-up apples, avocados, mushrooms, bananas, or pears so they don’t turn brown.

10. Freeze lemonade ice cubes and add to iced tea, lemonade, or white wine spritzers.

11. Add thinly sliced lemon wedges to a bottle of vodka or gin and put in the freezer. It will be ready to drink in 2 weeks.

12. Stud a lemon with cloves, covering it completely, and tie with a tartan ribbon to make a long-lasting pomander to freshen your closet.

6 or more portions

Cooking Methodfrying

CostModerate

Total Timea day or more

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecrisp, meaty, tangy

Ingredients

  • 2 chickens (2½ pounds each), cut into quarters
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 lemons, sliced paper-thin

Instructions

  1. Combine the chicken pieces and lemon juice in a bowl just large enough to hold them comfortably. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally.

  2. Drain the chicken thoroughly and pat dry. Fill a plastic bag with the flour, salt, paprika, and black pepper, and shake well to mix. Put 2 pieces of chicken into the bag at a time and shake, coating completely. Shake off any excess flour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  4. Heat the corn oil in a frying pan or cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Fry the chicken pieces, a few at a time, until well browned and crisp. This will take about 10 minutes per batch.

  5. Arrange the browned chicken in a single layer in a large shallow baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the lemon zest and brown sugar. Mix the chicken stock and lemon extract together and pour around the chicken pieces. Set a thin lemon slice on top of each piece of chicken.

  6. Bake the chicken until tender, 50 minutes.

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