This post from the very early days of the blog seems especially appropriate for the Food For Thought campaign to #EndFTD dementia. It is a lovely dish to share with friends, especially nice to bring to someone suffering from Frontotemporal Degeneration dementia. Those with FTD often also have a condition which makes it difficult for them to swallow but this braise tenderizes the ingredients making them much easier to enjoy. Our sense of taste and smell are the most powerful triggers for memory. The smell of the rosemary and lemon in this dish was another reason this deserved to be re-posted for the Food For Thought campaign. If you can help support the fundraiser please click on the link below, but either way share this dish with someone you love.
When the recipe for Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes from Ed Giobbi, author of Italian Family Cooking, appeared in House & Garden Magazine in the early Seventies Adrienne quickly made it her own. It became a mainstay in her repertoire especially when she had to cook for a crowd, as she often did on weekends spent at her husband’s family home on Long Island. Rosemary is a favored herb and it pairs perfectly with the chicken and potatoes.
The original recipe called for using rosemary branches but during the braise the needles dispersed into the sauce and were tough and unappealing when eating the finished dish. I struggled with how to get around this and still keep it a fairly easy dish. Putting the rosemary branches in cheesecloth was fussy and the flavor didn’t infuse into the potatoes and sauce. In the end I got my resident chopper – my husband – to mince the rosemary. It worked perfectly. If you do it yourself, mince more than is required for the recipe and freeze it. It freezes really well and you can use it without thawing.
I also added leeks and a lemon rind which I think work well with the chicken and rosemary flavors. Don’t use a lemon with the juice in it because the juice will inhibit the cooking of the potatoes. The rind is edible after being cooked and adds a surprising bite to the dish. And to make it a complete one dish meal I tossed in Chantenay carrots . They keep the dish easy too because they are already the perfect size and don’t need peeling.
Lemon Chicken with Rosemary and Potatoes
An easy one-pot dish with bright lemon and rosemary flavors.
- 4 chicken thighs and 4 breasts, salted 24 hours in advance
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup white cooking wine
- 10 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and minced
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced ¼ “thick
- 10 medium potatoes sliced ¼” thick, use a combination of Yukon Gold and Red Bliss, peeled or not as you prefer
- 1 cup +/- homemade chicken stock as needed
- Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 350 F
- Step 2 Heat the olive oil and butter over moderate heat in a casserole that can later be used in the oven, or sauté everything on the stove in a skillet and then transfer to a foil pan for the oven cooking. Add the garlic cloves and thighs. After turning the thighs add the breasts. Cook them lightly on both sides. Season with pepper. Add the leeks and cook until lightly colored. Add wine, rosemary and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove cover, raise heat and boil rapidly. When wine has reduced by half, remove chicken to a platter. Add potatoes, salt & pepper and chicken stock if necessary to cover potatoes.
- Step 3 Cover and bake in oven mixing often for a total of 35 – 40 minutes. After 20 minutes add dark meat. After 30 minutes add white meat. The potatoes will break up and you should even encourage this when you stir the mixture. Add stock as needed. The sauce should not be soupy but the dish should be moist. Remove the bay leaves and the garlic skins and crush the cooked garlic into the liquid.
- Step 4 If your sauce is too soupy remove the dish from the oven. Pour the sauce off to a sauce pan and boil furiously until you get the right texture and taste.
- Step 5 To reheat if made ahead, remove the chicken pieces and add stock if necessary – the potatoes will have absorbed quite a bit of the liquid. Add the chicken pieces back for the last 10 minutes.