I won’t lie, skipping Christmas this year due to our tight budgets was difficult. If there’s a bright side, it’s realizing that I’m absolutely grateful for what I already have, which doesn’t cost a dime.
I did manage to scrape together some home-made gifts for select friends and family: among them, ribbon-wrapped boxes with most of the ingredients as well as the recipe for our baked chicken with lemon and garden herbs. Sorry friends, you’ll have to get your own chickens; they don’t box well.
The idea started about a month ago when a) I knew I couldn’t afford to buy gifts, and b) I realized we had a plethora of herbs in the garden. I dried out the basil, oregano and thyme and put them together to make a panko mixture I could box up with a couple of lemons and directions for making our baked chicken.
The lemons? Those are from the garden, too. This is a photo from our last giveaway batch. Our neighbors took them all in three days! Only 200 left to go…
It just-so-happens that I made some chicken today, just to be sure our prized recipe really was good enough for gifting. Barry thought it passed.
Our final 2009 lunch was the baked chicken served with a winter salad and a glass of the 2008 Estate Viogner from Rideau Vineyard in the Santa Barbara Wine Country (purchased from Cate last Sunday).
It’s nice that on the 31st of December, we’re still able to have a shady lunch on a warm afternoon. Hoping for more sunshine in 2010. Happy New Year! [K]
Baked Chicken with Lemon and Garden Herbs
~ Serves ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 4 chicken breasts / thighs (1 per person)
- 4 lemons
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. salt, grind of pepper
~ Preparation ~
Active Preparation Time: 2 hours
Rinse chicken clean, trim off fat and pat dry with paper towel. Marinate in lemon juice for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425º F. Set out 13 x 9 glass baking dish.
Chop all herbs.
In a shallow bowl / dish, combine panko, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. If using dry herbs, reduce measurements by one-half.
In separate shallow bowl / dish, lightly beat one egg.
One by one, roll chicken in egg, then in panko mixture and place on baking dish. Do not crowd pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. If desired, turn broil on for last 3 minutes to brown bread crumbs.
Serve immediately with side dish(es).
~ Additional Notes ~
Optional: I like to brine my chicken overnight. If brining: heat 4 ½ cups water with 2 tbsp. kosher salt, 2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. pepper to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add 9 smashed garlic cloves and a handful of rosemary. Place mixture in refrigerator. Once cooled, pour into Ziploc bag, add chicken (make sure all chicken is covered) and let brine overnight. If brining, omit 1 tbsp. of rosemary from recipe and reduce salt to ¼ tsp.
Nutrition content per serving: 205 calories, 4.5g carbs, 21g protein, 12g fat, 0g fiber
Cost per serving: $ 0.84
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro