Every year I get giddier than the last when I see Meyer lemons in the grocery store. I think the fact that they are only available for such a short period of time adds to the anticipation. I bought a few at the grocery store, then received two bags in my Fresh-To-You produce delivery. I thought I would come up with a savory dish featuring Meyer lemons before diving headlong into the desserts. Meyer Lemon Garlic Chicken was the answer.
I made this dish for dinner last night. I nailed the sauce and the chicken, but annihilated the orzo by overcooking it. I redeemed myself by making it again today, leaving the pasta a bit al dente. Much better. Today I roasted the squeezed lemons right in with the chicken which really amped up the lemon flavor. I used legs and thighs, but chicken breasts would work as well. I would personally use skin-on chicken, but that's just how I roll. The crispy skin puts it over the top. You could use regular lemons if you don't have Meyer lemons. I will be doing that when Meyer lemons are not available. There is just something special about the flavor of Meyer lemons that you don't get in other varieties of lemons.
Shallots, butter and lots of garlic combine as the sauce to cook the chicken in, and to pour over the orzo.
Here is the recipe for my simple Lemon Garlic Chicken featuring beautiful Meyer lemons.
- 4-6 pieces of chicken with skin on
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground coarse black pepper
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Juice of two Meyer lemons (plus squeezed rinds)
- 4-5 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 shallots (peeled and sliced)
- Orzo pasta (for 3-4 servings, cooked to al dente')
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim any excess fat from the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken pieces, skin side up in a shallow baking pan. Place into the pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes.
- While chicken is in the oven, make the sauce by combining the melted butter, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Remove chicken from oven and pour off any grease. Put the chicken back into the baking pan, skin side down this time. Pour the sauce over the chicken and add the shallots and lemon rinds to the pan. Return to the oven and continue cooking for another 12 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and flip the chicken pieces over, skin side up. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees. While chicken is finishing, boil as many servings as you need of orzo pasta. Be sure not to over cook it.
- When the chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven and take the chicken pieces out to rest on a plate. Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the juices and return to the oven and cook until heated through. Pour the pasta and sauce onto a serving platter, place chicken pieces on top and serve hot.