Lemon-Honey Glazed Chicken, Peppers and Whole Garlics

Mette Nielsen

The idea for this chicken began with a North African tagine-style stew. But I prefer what roasting does to the chicken thighs; the lemon-honey glaze turns it sticky and crisp.

They're the best kind of entertaining food, standing up to reheats or waiting without drying out in a low oven. With the mix of peppers, they encore as a hot topping for salad greens.

Cook to Cook: Chicken thighs are my go-to choice when I want food that can work around people. This means things that don't go belly up if the conversation is going great guns and any kind of break would ruin the moment. Short of burning them, chicken thighs can take almost anything. The meat holds its own on the moisture and flavor scales, even when cooked longer than you'd like.

Lemon-Honey-Cumin Marinade and Glaze

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey to taste (you want sweet-tart)
  • 1/4 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin (freshly ground, if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Chicken

  • 3-1/2 to 4 pounds chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
  • 5 sweet Cubanelle, or other thin-skinned, triangular-shaped peppers, or 3 large yellow and/or red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, cut into thin strips (seeds removed if too hot)
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 15 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon

1. If you can, marinate the thighs for a couple of hours. In a bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients. Put the thighs in a couple of heavy plastic bags, divide the marinade between them, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.

2. To cook, turn the oven to 350ºF. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade with a fork, letting the marinade drain off. Spread out the thighs on a large, shallow roasting pan (a half-sheet pan is ideal) so they don't touch. Save any marinade. Scatter the peppers, chiles, onion and garlic around the chicken and sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil over the vegetables.

3. Roast for 30 minutes. Baste with the pan juices, and then scrape all the reserved marinade over the chicken and vegetables, turning them to coat evenly.

4. Roast another 20 to 30 minutes, basting and turning occasionally. When the chicken reaches 165ºF on an instant-reading thermometer, it is done.

5. If it hasn't browned, baste it again with the pan juices and run it under the broiler. Watch closely for browning without burning, turning the chicken and vegetables.  If burning threatens the vegetables, pull the pan out of the oven, spoon the vegetables onto a serving platter and finish browning the chicken under the broiler. You want it crisp, glazed and deep brown.

6. Let the chicken rest about 10 minutes in the pan out of the oven. Then mound it on a platter with heaps of vegetables on the side. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over everything and serve hot.

If you'd like, you could make a Classic Pan Sauce while the chicken rests.
 

Variations

Rosemary-Orange Roast Chicken: Follow the recipe as written except for this change: Instead of the lemon-honey marinade, blend together 1/3 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil, 4 large cloves garlic, minced; the grated zest of half a large orange, the juice of half the orange, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Chicken Roasted with Forty Cloves of Garlic: The garlic turns so mellow in roasting you can tease it out of its shell and smear it over the chicken like jam. Follow the recipe as written, but eliminate the marinade. Instead, toss the chicken and other ingredients with 40 cloves (3 to 4 large heads) of unpeeled garlic, 1/4 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 1/3 cup good- tasting vinegar (sherry, wine, or cider), salt and pepper. Roast as directed. After 20 minutes, start basting with the pan juices and 1/2 cup dry white wine. Make the pan sauce with a little cream and coarse-grain mustard.

This recipe appears in Eating In with Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Issue 1, which is available as an e-book.

Categories: 
chicken
Prep time: 
20 minutes
Cook time: 
45 minutes to 1 hour
Yield: 
Serves 8 to 10 and doubles easily. If doubling, bake in two pans

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