This is one of my favorite dishes when the weather starts getting cooler. It’s that time of year in Chicago when the humidity goes away (mostly) and the leaves have started changing. Coming from Texas, I’ve noticed Chicago tends to have much more of a definite autumn season. I didn’t realize how much I missed it – but I enjoy seeing all the leaves change color and pile up on the ground. It’s fun to go out in long sleeves and sweaters – before having to bundle up in 15 layers of clothing and feel like the little brother in A Christmas Story. Lemme tell you – coming from North Carolina and Texas, that gets old, real quick.
But for now, it’s time for more heartier dishes. Pumpkins, scarecrows, root vegetables and good, hearty meats. FUN!
This dish is a little more hearty and easy to put together on a weeknight. I start by dicing a bunch of red potatoes and boiling them up. While they’re boiling, I chopped up some rosemary and combined that in a bowl with several cloves of fresh garlic, a little salt and pepper, olive oil and the juice squeezed from one lemon. I also added just a little crushed red pepper for good measure.
I mashed all that into a paste and ran my chicken through it and then sauteed the chicken in a little more oil and butter. I have to say, the smell from the chicken cooking made my house just a little more cozy. I even gave myself a little hug. Just kidding.
Once the potatoes were ready, I took them off the heat and drained them. And I got all the chicken cooked til it was mostly done. You don’t have to worry so much about cooking the chicken all the way through since you’re going to be baking it off. So once all the chicken was mostly cooked, I added that to a baking dish. Once all the chicken was cleared out, I added sliced baby bella mushrooms and cooked them in the juice/oil/spicy goodness from the chicken. I’m sure most kinds of mushrooms will work fine, but I always like the baby bella mushrooms – they’re just more meaty and make the dish a little more substantial, if that makes sense?
So I sauteed the mushrooms til they were softened and combined them with the potatoes in the baking dish. Then I sliced 2 more lemons in half and squeezed allll their juices over the entire dish. I then arranged each of the halves in all 4 corners of the baking dish. Kind of like the 4 horsemen of the apocolypse. That is, if the apocolypse were a lemon rosemary chicken dish – and in that case, who needs heaven, bo-kaayy?
I’m not sure where I’m going with that analogy, BUT after you have the 4 lemon horsemen arranged in their corners, plant several rosemary springs throughout the dish as well. It will add more flavor – both the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs are just for presentation, really. Just a little something I like to do to make my life a little nicer. That and giving myself another little hug.
You’ll want to bake the dish at 450 for a good 20-25 minutes. This will ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through and all the flavors are melded together. Serve up, enjoy the changing of the season – and give yourself a little hug. You deserve it!