Tuesday, 20 September 2016

My Bitter Lemons


When I read this recipe for Slow Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken, I was particularly attracted to Nigella's description at the end of the introduction - you can eat them, skin, pith and all, their sour bitterness sweetened in the heat. The woman really has a way with words.

That was in reference to the lemons, obviously, which I found to be untrue only because I have burnt (and not caramelized) them. Tsk!


Any roasted chicken recipes of Nigella's is always very tempting not just because they come out fantastic everytime but because they are so simple.

She will tell you to just bung them in the oven and I would happily bung anything in the oven as long as something edible comes out of it.

Cremated lemons.

This recipe is too easy. Arrange the chicken pieces on a baking tray together with cut lemons, garlic cloves (no need to peel), thyme and drizzle with olive oil.

Nigella loves to use Marsala and since I did not have any in the house, I just left that out.

Cover tightly with foil and roast for 1.5 hours and then remove the foil and continue roasting at a higher temperature for another 30 minutes (to brown the skin).


What you get is tender moist chicken with very crispy skin. And better still, the roasted garlic which is soft and oh so tasty. But the lemons, well, my bad. It was very bitter, rendering the roasting juices unpalatable.


But the chicken was unaffected, they tasted very good. Since the chicken was only seasoned with salt and pepper, what you get is the fresh natural taste of chicken with a hint of thyme. 

So it is best if you can get really fresh chicken as the ones from the supermarket are sometimes iffy and work better with strong marinades.

Highly recommended not just for the taste but also for those days when you just want to bung some stuff in the oven. But please, don't burn the lemons >.<

Slow Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken
Recipe source : Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients :
- two drumsticks and 5 chicken thighs
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- two small cloves of garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
- salt and pepper

Method :
1. Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on a lined baking tray.
2. Add garlic cloves, lemon and thyme.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Cover the baking tray tightly with foil and roast at 160C for 1.5 hours.
5. Remove foil and continue to roast at 200C for about 30 minutes or until skin turns brown and crispy.

Note : 
- Nigella's recipe does no mention salt. 
- My lemons were burnt and turned out bitter. In future, I will just squeeze lemon juice over the chicken and not include the lemon in the roast.


30 comments:

  1. Looked good and tasty.

    I used to catch Nigella's show. I think I watched this recipe before. Easy but never try it out.

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    Replies
    1. Try her roast chicken recipes. Easy and yet delicious.

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  2. So you just ate the chicken and threw away the bitter roasting juice?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the juices were bitter, so can't drink it :(

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  3. I seldom roast the lemon together these days. I just squeeze the juice into the marinade.

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  4. I, for one, think that charred lemon (and charred lemon juice) is very tasty...so to have it turn out bitter is a bummer (maybe cut too small and too long a roasting time?). I used to watch Nigella too because of her simplicity in cooking and the way she cooks (much like a home cook, even down to her non chef-like prowess at cutting, slicing and dicing...hehe!) though some like her shows because of the way she describes her food sexily...haha! :D

    I can't help but notice that your chicken looks a lot drier than your all your previous roast chicken recipes. I think it's the result of the long roasting time of 2 hours that dried out the meat and skin (but the skin looks a lot crispier though). I've never roasted chicken pieces beyond 30 minutes (and an hour for a whole chicken), so I'm curious as to what the long baking time does to the meat and skin! ;)

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    Replies
    1. I must do this again without burning the lemons too much.

      Yes, the chicken was slightly dry due to roasting for another 30 minutes uncovered. I should either reduce the time or temperature. Roasting for 1.5 hours while covered is OK as it keeps the chicken moist and tender, just like stewing.

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  5. I have some limes in the fridge, they can replace lemons? :) Let you know IF I try that out, I thought of steaming fish with limes this time, that was why I bought a packet of limes...

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    1. I am not sure if it is nice with limes. For fish, I am sure limes will work well. Good luck! :D

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  6. Nigella is popular with the fellas here. I have not tried her recipe or watched her show. Do you normally roast your chicken for that length of time?

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    1. I usually roast for about an hour, uncovered.

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  7. Maybe remove the lemon after open the foil for second baking will get rid of the burnt?

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  8. OK noted about the burnt lemons. ^^

    But I am certainly tempted to try and bung my chicken using this recipe. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, bunging and then eating is the way to go :D

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  9. We did roast one whole chicken with all those cloves of garlic and lemon slices and spices and herbs once - and yes, it was very nice.

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  10. Maybe one of the day, if not lazy, and leg not itchy to go walking, will stay at home and try it out, hehe...

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    Replies
    1. This one is very easy, so will be suitable for lazy people hah...hah....

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  11. I can imagine the whole process and the taste afterwards as I used to roast chickens and parts to feed over 100 student friends in the States. I have used all kinds of leftovers and ingredients which squeezed lemon was somehow different! I remembered that it was very good with crispy skins. I must try again using your ingredients.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, you cooked for over 100 people? You can be a caterer then :) Lemons are always good for roasted chicken.

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  12. Hi Phong Hong,
    Burnt lemon .... maybe I'll pour some hot water to those burnt lemon and call it roasted lemon tea ?! Hee... hee. The roasted chicken look delicious.

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    1. Hi Karen! Oh no, it is bitter unless you like bitter tea hee..hee...

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  13. I think it will be safer for me to roast chicken with the lemon juice instead.

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  14. Sometimes an easy recipe makes the yummiest food!!
    I would finish all the garlic, I love garlic!! :p

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    1. You are right! Me too will sapu all the garlic :)

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  15. hmmmm ... what about replacing the lemons with oranges? :) the chicken looks gorgeous - and of course, i love how you chose mostly thighs (my favourite part) :D

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    Replies
    1. Oranges? I have heard of orange chicken, so yeah, that might work :) I am beginning to become a thigh fan!

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