It won’t surprise many of you that most of my food inspiration comes from television. I do enjoy a good food blog, and I peruse many a food section in magazines. But nothing captures my attention quite like watching a meal come together in action. Especially when it’s prepared by Ina, Giada, Nigella or Tyler.
If I’m not watching something in particular or if I’m just puttering around the house on the weekend, chances are my TV is on and tuned to the (new-ish) Cooking Channel. It’s the comforting background soundtrack to my life at home. Cooking Channel skews to a bit younger demographic, focuses on organic and artisinal cooking and highlights more global cuisine than its sister channel, the Food Network. I just couldn’t watch one more cupcake challenge, cake decorating competition or “meal” prepared by Sandra Lee. She just opens four cans … that’s not my kind of cooking.
I discovered or was inspired to create many of my favorite recipes — see beef stew or Shepherd’s Pie — from TV cooking shows. And I recently found another winner: lemon chicken with parsley rice. It’s very nearly a pantry meal, since I had lemons, garlic, frozen chicken and even remnants of a bottle of white wine already on hand. It has also been a nice, light escape from the Italian feast leftovers currently overloading my fridge.
I added a side of jasmine rice tossed with some chopped parsley for color, greenery and to soak up the lemon-garlic-wine sauce, but it would be delicious over pasta, couscous or even mashed potatoes. Whatever carb tickles your fancy.
|Lemon Garlic Chicken with Parsley Rice
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and let it cook for only a minute or two to infuse the garlic into the oil. Don’t let it turn brown or burn. Remove the oil from the heat and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, wine and salt. Add this marinade to the bottom of a baking dish and place the chicken breasts on top. Turn them once to coat both sides of the chicken. Place the lemon slices around the chicken, and then move the baking dish to the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts. When finished, remove the dish from the oven, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice. I used jasmine, but you can use your favorite long-grain rice and cook it according to the package directions. Heat the rice, water and salt until boiling, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 20 minutes. When finished, remove the cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the chopped parsley and mix thoroughly.
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken.