Chicken with Olives and Lemons

chicken with olives and lemonsIt was a dark and stormy night. Well, truth is, it was a sloppy wet January Monday afternoon; we aren’t used to rain here so we make a big thing out of it in LA. And rain makes me want to cook. Chicken with Olives and Lemons was my plan, using edibles from the yard. Lemons, oregano, rosemary.

lemon treeCooking Light magazine is the source of this recipe. It is tangy, garlicky and quite a healthy dish, only 271 calories per serving and 40 grams of protein.  I LOVE this magazine. It cooks the way we eat {most of the time} in this household (including using cheap ingredients, you know me).

I’ll tell you the change I made: I don’t marinade in ziplock bags – my old hippie spirit tells me that not only is that a waste of a good baggie, but it’s my belief that acid based marinades leech plastic into the food.  So, I just pour the stuff over the chicken and let it marinate in the baking dish.

Out in the ‘hood, this is one incredible citrus year. The lemons, oranges and limes are bending the tree branches.  I hope Larry didn’t notice the muddy grit in his dinner. That was either from the lemon rind or the oregano from the blue bin: our “herb garden.”

RosemaryAnd now a commercial for rosemary…  from the front yard hedge.  Do you grow rosemary?  You should.  Besides being a hearty, drought resistant hedge, it smells lovely and makes the BEST greenery in a vase of fresh-cut flowers.  Around Christmastime, you can even buy rosemary plants cut into the shapes of Christmas trees, pretty cool hostess gift for a foodie or gardener.

Chicken with Olives and Lemons, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, halved crosswise
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 oil-cured olives, pitted and sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl.  Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (I made half the chicken but with all the marinade, so I used a 9 x 9 dish) with cooking spray, arrange the chicken pieces and pour the marinade over top. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature, turning once during that time.

Meanwhile, separate the shallot rings into a medium bowl.  Toss together with the lemon slices, oregano, rosemary, pepper and olives.

When ready to bake, arrange the lemon-shallot mixture over the top of the chicken. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Remove chicken from the oven, move the rack to 3 inches from the heating element and preheat the broiler on HIGH.  Place chicken under broiler and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until browned and done.

Makes 4 servings.

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