A couple of weeks ago I was drawing a blank when trying to come up with dinner ideas. I had chicken to make, but wasn’t feeling like making any of the usual things, so I did a quick bit of online research, and found this recipe. I read all the reviews and thought it was worth a try. When mixing up the marinade, I tasted it as I went, and decided it needed a bit of honey to balance out some of the stronger flavors. I also reduced the salt – just a pinch will do. And I didn’t have a shallot in my fridge, so I added some toasted sourdough bread crumbs over the top in the final few minutes of baking to add crunch. This dish is quick and easy to make, you can easily prepare sides while it is baking, and it feels fancy and restauranty for a change of pace at our house.
Lemon Dijon Chicken
(Adapted from Karen Tedesco’s recipe)
- 5 to 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste*
- 1 tablespoon honey
- freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon (~2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Mix marinade ingredients together in medium glass bowl. Taste as you go and adjust as necessary. This is a tangy sauce, and more honey will temper it.
- Place chicken in marinade and mix well. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°; the chicken will marinate while the oven preheats. Let the oven get nice and hot, so I say let the oven preheat for at least twenty minutes.
- While oven is preheating, you can start a pot of rice, prep some fresh veggies to sauté or steam, etc.
- When oven is up to temp, grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish** and place prepared chicken in the dish in one even layer, smooth side up. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is in the oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add bread crumbs and sauté for a minute or two, until the crumbs begin to color a bit. Remove pan from heat and set aside. About ten minutes before the chicken is done baking, open the oven door and sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs evenly over the chicken. Continue to bake the chicken for ten more minutes (chicken should bake for a total of 30 minutes).
- Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes while you finish preparing rice and veggies***. I like serving this saucy chicken over a bed of rice with veggies along the side. Enjoy!
*I scoop out and freeze 1 tablespoon dollops of tomato paste, then keep them in a freezer bag in my freezer for easy food prep. Just zap in microwave for 10 seconds to defrost and use in recipes.
**For the sauce to end up with the right consistency (not too thin and not too thick), you want your baking dish to just accommodate the chicken pieces snugly all in an even layer spread out. An 8″ x 8″ baking dish works really well for 5 to 6 chicken thighs. If you need to double the recipe, try using a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
***For a quick veggie side, spread asparagus (or broccoli florets work here too) out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. When the chicken is done baking, put your veggies in the hot 425° oven to roast while the chicken rests for 5 to 10 minutes. Everything will be hot at the same time when it’s time to eat, and with minimal effort!
And just for fun, this is what I’m up against as I try to write this out…
I love your breadcrumb topping, and your helping hands!
Thanks Dorothy! I do love breadcrumbs on just about anything! And yes, those helping hands, hahaha… she is so cute!
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