It never fails. Every summer, when the mercury is practically bursting from the top of the thermometer and the daily weather maps have those obnoxious suns wearing shades and sweating covering an image of the tri-state area, my desire to cook drastically diminishes. I mean, it’s ridiculously hot out and there’s nothing enticing about replicating the heat indoors with an oven running for hours. Especially when I’ve had the great pleasure of experiencing the heat first-hand as a Metro commuter. If you’re anything like me, then all I can recommend on these summer days is to order in or strong-arm your spouse/significant other/roommate/that neighbor who owes you a favor to make you dinner.
Or you could try just asking nicely. It worked for me. And if you need an idea for a meal that will fill you up, but won’t weigh you down, a meal that will refresh and delight you, I have to recommend Lemon Chicken with Mint from Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking. Prep time’s just 15 minutes for this one, and if you include the 45 minute cooking time, you can have a yummy summer meal in just an hour.
And if you were successful in conning–I mean, persuading–that special person in your life to pull this dinner together for you, that hour could be spent reading a book. Painting your nails. Catching up on the Real Housewives of NYC. Perfecting your juggling skills. Listen, I just figured out what you should eat for dinner and who should make it for you–I really can’t be expected to plan your whole evening, now can I?
Lemon Chicken with Mint
Courtesy of Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking
4 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned, or 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
Two 4-inch sprigs of mint
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degress. Spray a 10×14-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Drizzle the chicken with the lemon juice. Place the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a gallon-size zipper-top plastic bag. Add the pieces of chicken to the bag and toss to lightly coat with flour.
3. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. As the chicken browns, arrange it in a single layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle the chicken with the lemon zest and brown sugar. Place a slice of lemon on each piece, then pour the broth over the chicken. Place the mint sprigs on top.
4. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, uncovered, until the juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a knife. Discard the mint and serve hot.