Ho-ly Smoke! I can’t begin to say enough good things about this simple, flavourful dish! Five Ingredient Friday is a true winner this week with Balsamic Lemon Rosemary Chicken. If you like chicken and don’t make this, you’re certifiable, I’m tellin’ ya’.
Very recently, my friend Amy over at Very Culinary posted a recipe on her Facebook page from her archives for Balsamic Lemon Chicken. I immediately printed it out; I just knew both Mr. Saucy and I would love it. I made her recipe, with very, very gentle adaptations (and one brain burp) and it was delicious! Really. Gosh, this is good stuff!
I’ll have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about two tablespoons of sugar in the lemon sauce; so I asked Amy about it. She assured me that it wasn’t too sweet and she was right. The lemon juice*, lemon zest and the sugar bring together the perfect blend of sweet and tart. Add in the balsamic vinegar and some rosemary (my addition) and you’ve got one really fabulous dish.
I ramped up the balsamic by doubling it; I did that for two reasons:
- Because I just adore balsamic vinegar, and
- Because I had 8 really large thighs.
The only other thing I did differently was that I didn’t add butter to the pan sauce. I actually used my fat separator and removed the oil and the butter originally used to cook the chicken. I’m trying to cut down on our fat intake…so, if you don’t mind the extra fat, omit this step. What was left after I did that was a rich sauce highlighting the balsamic, lemon and syrup remaining from the sugar/lemon juice/zest mixture.
The hardest thing I’ve ever done was to not drink that pan sauce straight from the skillet. I kid you not, it was that good. I made this in the afternoon and had to wait for Mr. Saucy to get home for dinner. That wait was agonizing! I kept picking at the chicken and dipping little pieces into the pan sauce. Oy. Was it worth the wait? Oh, lordy…yes. This is just fabulous.
Since this is a Five Ingredient Friday dish, here are your five ingredients:
- 8 chicken pieces, bone in, skin on (I used all thighs)
- balsamic vinegar
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- fresh rosemary
Now, you just must make this recipe. Really.
- 8 chicken pieces (legs and thighs, skin on, bone-in)
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 lemons, both zested, 1 juiced, and the other cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork and set aside (this will help it absorb the marinade more quickly).
- In a large ziplock bag, add the balsamic vinegar, the zest of one of the lemons, the rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Squish it around to mix.
- Add the chicken, close the ziploc bag and turn to coat.
- Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (I used big thighs, so I left it for 45 minutes).
- Mix the sugar with the zest from the remaining lemon and the juice of one lemon in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large, oven-safe skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the oil until very hot, about 2 minutes.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of butter to the oil in the skillet, and place chicken skin-side-down in the pan along with the remaining marinade.
- Cook until the chicken is browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, and then flip each piece over and cook 1 minute more.
- Spoon the lemon sugar over the chicken and transfer skillet to the preheated oven.
- Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the oven.
- Remove the chicken to a platter.
- Separate the fat from the pan sauce and return sauce to the skillet. Simmer over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Serve with pan sauce drizzled over the chicken and lemon wedges from the remaining lemon on the side. This added lemon juice is really lovely...so don't just use it for a garnish. Squeeze it all over that chicken at the table.
* Note: I’m a total dork and added the juice of the lemon to the sugar and zest, she sprinkled on the sugar with the zest and added the juice later.