I’m really amazed at how my tastes change with the seasons. It’s certainly not intentional, but when the weather warms up I’m immediately in the mood for light, spring-inspired fare. (Likewise, once fall rolls around, I’m all about chili and everything pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!) I have started to really enjoy lemon in desserts and baked goods, but I have yet to make many main dishes with lemon as the primary flavor. The marinade and sauce provide just the right amount of lemon flavor without being overpowering or sour. My main change was to dial down the amounts of fresh herbs because I thought they seemed a bit too much and I wanted the lemon to shine through. I served this with baked garlic rice pilaf and roasted broccoli, and we thought the rice was the perfect compliment with its own little hint of lemon flavor.
2 tbsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
2-3 tbsp. melted butter
Thinly sliced lemons, for garnished
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zipper-lock plastic bag. Seal the bag and shake well to blend. Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, pressing out excess air and sealing once more. Refrigerate and let marinate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish, skin-side up, reserving the leftover marinade. Brush the top of each piece of chicken with melted butter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned. Halfway through baking, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken pieces in the baking dish. Once fully baked, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with lemon slices and serve.