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  • Leigh

Easier Than Take Out Chicken

Sometimes you just don't want to cook. Nonetheless, you're hungry, and so are your family members. Take-out food is expensive, terrible for you, and usually requires a wait or delivery expense. So why not try an economical chicken dish that you can prepare in a few minutes, pop in the oven, and bake while you take a walk, pet the cat, or surf the news? This isn't a fancy recipe. It's made with inexpensive, bone-in, skin-on chicken quarters. Nonetheless the dish will send wonderful aromas through your house and feed cranky people quite well. The chicken bakes up crispy on top and stays moist inside. Lots of herbs and lemon infuse the dish with flavor. If you'd like to prepare the chicken in advance (i.e., in the morning) and let it sit in the refrigerator with the lemon-herb mixture, it will be even better. You can use fresh herbs if you have them, but dried herbs will do if you don't. Little potatoes and carrots cook along with the chicken, meaning you don't have to wash extra dishes later. A green salad would go nicely with the chicken.

Lemon Herb Baked Chicken

Lemon-Herb Baked Chicken -- Serves 4+

4-6 chicken leg quarters, skin-on, bone-in (3-5 pounds, depending on the size of the legs)

2 lemons

2 teaspoons of dried oregano (or 3-6 sprigs of fresh oregano)

1-2 teaspoons of dried rosemary (or 6 smallish sprigs of fresh rosemary)

1 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme)

1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of salt

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

2-3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1/2 cup of water

12-16 small potatoes, scrubbed clean and halved if you like

16 ounces of carrots, trimmed and cut (or use a bag of baby carrots)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a large dish or 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Put the potatoes and carrots in the bottom of the pan. With your fingers, loosen the skin covering the chicken legs but don't remove the skin. Put the chicken in a large plastic bag. Zest and juice 1 of the lemons and slice the other lemon (remove the seeds, if there are any). Put the lemon zest, juice, and slices in the bag with the chicken. Add the herbs, garlic powder, pepper, salt, olive oil, and vinegar to the bag. Seal the bag and shake or squeeze it to distribute the herbs, seasoning, oil, and vinegar over the chicken. Put the chicken on top of the vegetables in the prepared baking dish and pour the herb-lemon juice mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the dish. Bake the chicken for about an hour or until brown and crispy and/or a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

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