Saturday, January 21, 2012

....when life hands you lemons, rosemary, and thyme....

Make Dinner!

Well, make dinner, but see if we can toss in some art, too.

I had a poor excuse for a good night's sleep, so quality-control may not be on the clock yet, we'll see if she shows up.

Two days ago, I was wanting to make something and was both too busy and too unsettled to do anything about it. I also realized that at least three other people in this house count on someone putting together a bit of food at least once per day. So, I grabbed the camera, gave the counters a quick wipe, and proceeded to pound and smash my way to dinner. Thankfully, as I also am the homework buddy, my son is a math whiz and was occupied with little trouble while I worked.

Chicken thighs were merrily bathing in the sink...

so I began their garlic bath. In french, this is what is called aioli.

If you are good at it. 

I am not. 

So, I call it pounded garlic, sea salt, and olive oil sauce.

This is what it looks like before you start abusing it.

After slowly adding any additional olive oil, and grinding and pounding away, it gets saucy and emulsified. When you don't see much olive oil hanging around obvious chunks of garlic, and you think you have enough for two packs of chicken thighs it is done. Note, these taste better and look nicer and stay moister if you do them with skin and bones included. (If you make yourself a big salad to go with, you won't feel as guilty about the skin...)

There are no photos of me rubbing the garlic sauce on the chicken, the thighs were not 'feelin' it' and anyway, I didn't want to give the camera a vinegar bath to sterilize it - the camera looked highly annoyed at that idea. So, trust me when I tell you I loaded all the thighs in a bowl, smeared them over and under the skin with the sauce, and popped 'em back in the fridge. (They'd like 2 hours of fridge time at least, but in this house, you get what you get.;-)

I love lemons. I've done this recipe with onions, by the way - they give a sweet, rather than lemony flavor, obviously. But lemons in the winter really are the ticket.

Rosemary, thyme, and sage are the other herbs I use. I've been able to keep my rosemary alive - and it keeps sending up these crazy shoots, so I prune those first for cooking. Snip, wash, put in water. Wash my thyme.....

Thyme is not something I can grow in this northern light over winter, so I have to buy that fresh. I buy it in the 'dirt' plugs sold in the super market, so that gets a bath too, while I finish scrubbing the lemons.

By the way, yes, I Have heard the theory of 'washing your produce the second it gets in the house'. Now that I am roping the kids into kitchen work, I May be able to interest them in that job. And this photo-entry would be shorter!
On the other hand...I'd miss the excuse to shoot pictures of thyme, which I find very beautiful.

There, bathtime is over for the lemons. And the rosemary. 10-12 sprigs if the rosemary is leggy, same number for the thyme, and slice the lemons into roughly 1/4" slices. I'd have taken a pic, but by this time, my son needed me to check his homework, my daughter had to be gotten out of bed, and my husband was on the phone. So, no pretty pics of lemon slices draped with rosemary and thyme.

I don't have pretty pics of me rubbing sage between my palms and sprinkling it on the lemon slices first, either.

But that's exactly what I did. Then I salt and peppered the thighs (both sides) topped the lemon-and-herb-stacks with the chicken, baked them at 425 for an hour, while making wild rice pilaf and a mixed spring-herb pack salad with the last of the goat cheese and dried cranberries - thereby obviating the stress about that crispy, olive-oiled, salt-and-peppered skin.

So, there. I made dinner. I made pictures, and I am sharing them with you.

And after reading it, even I wonder how I get anything done around here!

Make yourself a good healthy dinner tonight.

Tell me how it goes...... ;-)



  1. How yummy! It's leftover pizza for me and hubs today for lunch. And that's because my hubby IS a chef!

  2. ...I ever tell you how smart you are, marrying a chef?? Good stuff :-)

    have a great writing week! And working week! and, well, life kind of week!