Lemon Garlic Bacon CHICKEN!

Okay guys. LOOK AT THIS.

Now, let me tell you right now that I’m gonna teach you how to make this. But you will first have to trust me and leave all your little measuring cups in your filthy little drawers (if you’re anything like me) and get ready to eyeball things and taste taste taste.

Basically, I found a wonderful little recipe for lemon-garlic roasted chicken from Ina Garten, but hers called for a whole chicken. And I dunno if you’ve heard (it’s allll over the newsstands next to the ashton/demi headlines) but I’m on a low-carb kick again so if I need to toss potatoes, bread, and pasta out of my life, you can bet I’m gonna eat the shit out of some dark meat.

So I decided to just take her recipe and experiment, which is why I can’t give you many exact measurements, except for the cheat-worthy gravy and sweet green beans.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: Please read this entire thing before you sit down to make this. I am by no means a recipe-writer. And I find it painful to even put these things together. For instance I’m and idiot and will tell you to fully bake your chicken, thennn say to make the gravy and green beans, but obviously it is smarter to do this as it all bakes. I hope this isn’t too hard to understand….

For just the chicken, you will need:

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs and 4 legs/drumsticks…with skin, preferably.
  • Fresh thyme. Lots of it. I’d say…ummm…10 sprigs or so.
  • olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 3 lemons
  • mushrooms (not a must)
  • 8 peeled cloves of garlic (although I used 10 because I love garlic)
  • paprika
  • your favorite poultry seasoning (duh, lawry’s)
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • one yellow onion
  • some baby carrots (some. see how precise I am?)
  • BACON. your favorite bacon. I used uncured apple smoked.
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

For the gravy you will need:

  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (lawry’s!)

For the green beans you will need:

  • 1 pound green beans, washed, tips snapped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • A little salt
  • 1/4 cup water stirred with 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt & pepper

Ok readdddddy? As I said, I’m not a recipe writer, but I really did just literally throw this together so I don’t want anyone to be nervous that there are no measurements. Chicken thighs and drums are so easy to work with and very difficult to over-season or over-cook. For me, they are really fun to work with because they are soooo juicy and crowd pleasing. People really love having a down-home, hot, roasted chicken meal. It’s just so…cozy.

*The first thing I did was sautee 5 pieces of bacon in a non-stick pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Why? Because I was hungry and wanted bacon, truthfully. So I made bacon, and poured ALL the extra grease into a bowl to save for this chicken recipe….smartest thing I’ve ever done.

*With your oven pre-heated to 400 degrees, start by washing all your thighs and drums (the chicken ones, not yours, unless yours are noticeably dirty). Pat dry and lay into a roasting pan.

*Quarter 2 of the lemons so you have 8 wedges total. Toss em in the roasting pan.

*Mince (or use a garlic press, preferably) all 8-10 cloves of the garlic into a bowl. Rub some of the chunky paste deliciousness on the tops of each piece of chicken.

*Generously sprinkle the thyme leaves over the chicken — if you flip each sprig over, the leaves kind of effortlessly pull off the stem.

*Take each tablespoon of butter (5 total) and spread the chunks randomly throughout the pan.

I realize now I should have taken more photos, but hopefully at this point, yours will look like this:

screen-shot-2011-10-13-at-12-15-12-pm

See? I was SUPER heavy with the garlic. I highly recommend this. Next…

*Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the roasting pan, avoiding the tops of each piece of chicken. Want that flavor to stick for a bit!

*Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Also with a bitttt of a heavy hand — much of the seasoning will fall off into the yummy broth at the bottom.

*Pour the bacon grease over each piece of chicken. RUSTICALLY ( :) )

* Quarter your onion and the mushrooms. Toss in the pan with your baby carrots.

*Lay 4 more strips of bacon on top of the chicken.

By now, it should look like this:

screen-shot-2011-10-13-at-12-33-08-pm

Are you nervous? I know people (me) get really annoyed when a recipe doesn’t have EXACT measurements but pleassssse trust me. It is SO hard to mess this up. Also, if you noticed, yes….I do have an extra entire BULB of garlic in the middle there, chopped in half. No idea if it contributed to the overall flavor so I don’t want to ask you to do this as well. I just figured it couldn’t hurt.

Next..

*Drizzle with olive oil alllll over

*Squeeze  another half a lemon over the chicken, reserving the other half for serving time :)

Put into the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then baste or spoon the liquid all over each piece. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook for another 30-45 minutes. Keep basting throughout.

Whenever I roast chicken, it takes much longer than the written time because I open the oven so much to baste. This particular one took about an hour and 40 minutes to bake completely.

When your chicken looks like it should be about done inside (I always cut into the ugliest piece to make sure), sprinkle the entire pan with more poultry seasoning, and some paprika. The paprika takes the chicken from looking raw/bland (even though it isn’t) and gives it a wonderfully roasted coloring. Now broil the chicken for 5-10 minutes, watching constantly, as the broiler is just meant to give it a nice brown top.

screen-shot-2011-10-13-at-12-54-21-pm

Gravy time!

For the chicken gravy, I used the recipe here, and my poultry seasoning was lawry’s. It says to use just chicken broth but I used both 2 cups of chicken broth added to a few tablespoons of the chicken drippings from my roasting pan:

 http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/chicken-gravy/detail.aspx

Let the gravy simmer on the stove. If it gets thick and gel-ish before you are ready to serve (it will) just add a little more stock and keep stirring.

Make the green beans. SO DELICIOUS, I wish I had made more than this recipe even called for:

http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2007/01/quick-side-simple-skillet-green-beans.html

Plate with a piece of bacon from the roasting pan like so…

screen-shot-2011-10-13-at-1-02-10-pm

Cover with gravy…

screen-shot-2011-10-13-at-1-03-59-pm

Marvel as you bite into your juicy, homemade chicken:

screen-shot-2011-10-13-at-1-04-57-pm

Get seconds and thirds (like john did):

screen-shot-2011-10-13-at-1-06-08-pm

Note:

VEGETARIAN OPTION: Don’t make the chicken. Or the gravy. Triple the green beans. Eat the green beans.

ALTERNATE VEGETARIAN OPTION: Make the chicken. Chew the chicken. Spit out the chicken. Chew the green beans. Swallow the green beans.

Voilá!

xx

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