G’day, mates! I hope that you have been enjoying some magnificent spring weather and that your weeks are off to most excellent starts! I am reveling in the fact that winter FINALLY seems to be over here in Eastern Washington. Seriously, temperatures were dwindling in the 40s on the good days, and we faced an onslaught of mystery precipitation with little to no notice. It was odd, and I did not enjoy it. But now, rejoice! Spring has sprung! It’s time to break out your sun dresses and open-toed shoes (if you’ve not done so already) so that you may whimsically frolic through an open field of daisies in the appropriate frolicking attire!
In celebration of the spring’s arrival, I’ve started Lemon-palooza a bit early this year. What’s “Lemon-palooza”, you ask? Why, please allow me to fill you in. Last year was Lemon-palooza’s inaugural year. During late April/early May, I went through a phase where I made about a bazillion different lemon-flavored/-themed dishes. I don’t know what brought it on, but it was far from worst thing in the world. I made lemon meringue pie (here’s looking at you, Amelia Bedelia!), lemon bars from scratch, lemon curd to have with my morning crepe, lemon meringue pie cupcakes, and myriad other lemon-centric dishes. Needless to say, I feel compelled to repeat the ritual this year. Let’s make it happen.
If you thought that the blue cheese scallion mashed potatoes were easy peezy lemon squeezy (I couldn’t help it), this dish is, if you can believe it, even easier. Despite its simplicity, it will still come out looking fancy as can be, and you’ll be the envy of all your friends when it comes to serving delightful spring dinner entrees. Plus, as it requires little to no babysitting, you’ll have plenty of time to do whatever you please in the interim hour or so between popping it in the oven and serving it up. For example, I had plenty of time to take my dog on a walk, do some yoga, spend approximately 83 seconds internally debating which beverage I wanted to serve with the meal (in case you’re curious, I decided on Rogue’s Juniper Pale Ale, though I gave considerable consideration to Leavenworth Beers’ Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen or a good Chardonnay), and set the table for the meal. That said, I encourage you to do the most with your time as well: work on a knitting project, clean a room, paint your nails, call a friend or relative for a pleasant chit chat, fill up your Amazon cart with multiple items from your wishlist, the choices really are endless. Either way, you’ve got the makings for a lovely lunch or evening here!
Lemon Rosemary Chicken
4 frozen boneless chicken tenderloins or 2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon, sliced into 1/4″ thick slices
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper (adjust to taste)
2 tsp. dried rosemary
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 casserole dish with lid (if you don’t have a lid, tinfoil works just as well)
1 cutting board
1 meat thermometer
Preheat the oven to 350F. In the casserole dish, drizzle 1-1 1/2 tsps. of the olive oil, swirling around to coat the bottom of the dish. Place your frozen chicken on the bottom of the dish. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken. Sprinkle the salt, black pepper, and rosemary over the chicken; feel free to be generous with your spices, particularly the rosemary. Next, place one slice of lemon over each tenderloin, or, if you’re using chicken breasts, place two lemon slices (or one very large lemon slice) over each breast. Cover the dish with either a lid or tinfoil and place in the oven. Cook the chicken for 60-75 minutes, until the meat thermometer reads at least 165F when inserted into the middle of the chicken. If you’re using fresh chicken rather than frozen, your cooking time will be significantly less, more like 30 minutes than 60. Still, the inside of the chicken should be at 165F before serving.
Serve the chicken with the side dish or salad of your choosing. In the picture, the lemon rosemary chicken is being served with an adaptation of Joy the Baker’s delightful baked lemon risotto. I told you, Lemon-palooza is ON. Enjoy!