Monday, August 10, 2015

Cory & Richard's Tuscan Lemon Chicken

Pollo al Mattone, or 'chicken under a brick', is a classic Tuscan recipe, and this version inspired by Ina Garten's Tuscan Lemon Chicken, has all the fabulous flavour without spatchcocking the bird, whereby poultry or game is prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone and flattening it out before cooking. Our dear friends Cory and Richard prepared this Tuscan summertime feast, but served their Lemon Chicken as full bone-in skin-on breasts for ease of serving and presentation. Unabashed devotées of Ina Garten, Cory and Richard inevitably leave me doe-eyed in their culinary wake, and I'm always inspired to recreate their dishes weeks and years afterwards. As Oscar Wilde once quipped, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," and where borrowed recipes are concerned, it's also with great admiration and thanks.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken
Serves 6
Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

6 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
Maldon salt 
2/3 cup good olive oil 
4 tsp grated lemon zest 
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 
2 tbsp minced garlic 
2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves 
Freshly ground black pepper 
2 lemons, sliced into 8 pieces 

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons of salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 4 teaspoons of pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken breasts in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken two or three times while marinating. 

When ready to grill, turn a gas grill on low heat. Place the chicken breasts, skin side up and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and serve garnished with lemon wedges.