I’m a huge fan of this recipe. I have made it a few times before, always to rave reviews. A few important notes about this recipe that I would share before posting the recipe are:
1. If at all possible, make your own stock. If you are out, or just don’t bother, please make sure that you ONLY use low-salt or salt free packaged stock. This is incredibly important because these pre-packaged broths are very high in sodium, and since you are reducing it by half to intensify the taste of the chicken, you are also intensifying the salt. So, unless you like eating a salt lick, this is important. If, however, you prefer a salt lick, by all means be my guest.
2. I cannot stress the importance of tasting the sauce as you go along making it. This recipe calls for 6 lemons, but even cut down to five this is a very lemony sauce, and I usually wind up cutting it with 4 tablespoons of butter at the end of the sauce. You might reduce the lemons to 3 or 4 depending on how big they are, and then further cut the butter to 2 tbs. BUT! You are never going to know this unless you are tasting as you go along. Don’t forget to season the sauce with salt, too!
3. This recipe also calls for chicken breasts, but I rather prefer chicken thighs for this because of the extended cooking times — they stay nice and juicy throughout the cooking process. I cooked mine as the recipe called for them to be cooked because I purchased my thighs from my local grocer (Harmon’s), which are a bit bigger. If you source yours locally or from Whole Foods they will likely be smaller, so you will want to adjust your cooking time in the oven to accommodate. Mine came out perfectly.
5 large lemons
Gray salt (I used regular Kosher salt, so whatever your preference)
6 boneless chicken breast halves, skin on (again, I used chicken thighs here)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, such as red bliss, halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 cups double-strength chicken stock, or 4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth boiled until reduced by half
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Cut a small slice off both ends of each lemon, and then cut in half crosswise. Arrange the lemons, flesh side up, in a flameproof nonreactive baking dish, and season with salt. Broil 6 inches or more from the heat until browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Squeeze the lemon halves over a sieve suspended over a bowl. Push and stir the pulp through the sieve with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to get as much juice out as possible. Discard the lemon peels.
Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken, lower the heat to medium, and cook, turning once, until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate or baking sheet.
Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and tossing, until brown all over, about 10 minutes. Drain off the excess oil. Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the potatoes and place in the oven until potatoes and chicken are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter and put the pan with the potatoes over medium-high heat. Toss well so the pan juices are absorbed into the potatoes. Scrape the potatoes out of the pan onto the platter around the chicken.
Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the garlic and rosemary, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and reserved lemon juice. Stir and scrape up all the browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan, and then add the remaining 1 cup broth. Bring to a simmer stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce tastes too lemony, stir in the optional butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken and potatoes and serve immediately, garnished with rosemary sprigs