A couple of years ago we went to visit our youngest son and his family at Christmas time. I came prepared to fix dinner one night, with the stipulation that the grandkiddos helped. Well, our grandson (then 10 years old) said he didn't want to cook. I told him I had a very special assignment for him. Well, when I explained that the chicken needed to be pounded to just the right thickness he became interested and did an excellent job. He and his sister both helped me and enjoyed the process and there wasn't a single question about if they were going to eat it or not.
We are so fortunate to have a very prolific Meyer Lemon Tree in our back yard and the fruit ripens in December. We keep her pruned but each year she produces more and more fruit. This year we have picked over 300 lemons. I want to share my recipe for Lemon Chicken Rustica that my family really likes. First, though, I want to introduce you to our tree.
|Meet Meyer Lemon!|
LEMON CHICKEN RUSTICA
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 small bunch Fresh Thyme
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup Flour
1 medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup White Wine, optional (you can use more broth)
1 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Lemons, juiced (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoons Capers, rinsed under water (these are optional)
Cut chicken breasts in half, cross ways (butterflied, cut all the way through). Place pieces flat in a plastic bag or between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the bottom of a heavy fry pan to make pieces the same thickness, about 1/2”. Season chicken pieces with dried thyme and salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Dredge the chicken in flour and add to the hot oil and sauté until just cooked through and browned slightly on both sides. Place chicken on platter.
In the same sauté pan, over medium heat, cook the onions and fresh thyme until onions are soft, then remove them from pan to the platter.
In a measuring cup, measure the wine, if you use it, and the broth and the lemon juice. Turn the heat to high and deglaze the pan with the liquids then add the rinsed capers. Cook sauce on high until it reduces by about half and is beginning to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and finish the sauce by whisking in the butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Slide the chicken and onions into the sauce for just long enough to warm them up.
Serve over cooked spinach, pasta or rice.
Makes 6 generous servings