Since I am cooking with a tighter budget lately, one of the things I look for in a recipe is the adaptability of leftovers. Lemme be the one to tell ya. One chicken makes a whole lotta leftovers. Lucky for me, they are really delicious leftovers and can be used in many types of recipes so expect to see many chicken recipes from me this week. First up is the original recipe I used for this young chicken. It's a green, thick marinade made up of all kinds of fresh herbs and one of the best parts about it is that you can adapt the marinade to use whatever herbs you have on hand. For example, I didn't have fresh marjoram, but hottie salad boy at the FM informed me that majoram is basically the same as oregano except less pungent (smart, and deliciously cute...I should marry him!). Anyway, I didn't have fresh oregano on hand so I used a pinch of dried. In true to Esi form, I didn't measure anything so please take these measurements with a grain of salt. I will say that this marinade is very flavorful and makes a wonderful and juicy chicken. I still have to work on my butchering technique, but I think I have my marinade technique down. I served this with some roasted asparagus and a few lemon wedges and it was the perfect light dinner.
Spring Chicken with Green Marinade
(Adapted from Tom Douglas)
1 young chicken, cut into 8 pieces
For the marinade:
1/2 cup chopped scallion, white and green parts
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
About 1/4 cup olive oil, as needed, for browning the chicken
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
Marinate the chicken 1 day ahead
Trim excess fat from the chicken pieces. Rinse them under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels, and place them in a nonreactive pan.
Combine the scallion, herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, gradually adding the oil last to emulsify. The marinade will be very thick, like a pesto. Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces and coat the pieces on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat 2 large sauté pans over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of oil in each pan. If you don’t have 2 large sauté pans, brown the chicken in batches.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving any excess marinade. Put the chicken pieces in the pans skin side down and sauté until the skin is nicely browned.
Turn and brown the other side, adjusting the heat between medium and medium-high as necessary so you don’t burn the chicken. When the chicken pieces are browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes total for each piece, transfer them to a roasting pan (my skillets are oven-safe so I roasted them in the pan).
Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken and throw the lemon halves into the pan. Scrape any extra marinade into the roasting pan. Put the roasting pan in the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked, the juices run clear, and the thigh meat reads 175°F on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven.
Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and arrange on a platter. Whisk the pan juices to break up any clumps of the marinade and drizzle a little over the chicken. Pour the rest of the pan juices into a gravy boat, discarding the lemon halves, and pass with the chicken.