Earlier this week I channeled my inner June Cleaver – is that even a relative reference anymore? Mike found out on Tuesday that a former work colleague was in town with his family and wanted to get together for dinner on Wednesday. So Mike did the polite thing and invited them over for dinner. Usually not a big deal, we like entertaining, we like having friends over for dinner, just not mid-week, when we have six things going on that evening.
I needed a meal that could be prepared ahead of time and in stages. I had about an hour to fix dinner, but those free 60 minutes were scattered throughout the day in about 15 minute chunks. Also, because we didn’t know the family very well I needed a pretty basic, easy on the palate meal.
The solution – chicken and potatoes! I know not very exciting, but it was tasty and everyone left feeling full and happy. (I am sorry I didn’t get any pictures of the final plate, I didn’t know these folks well enough to break out my camera at the dinner table, it didn’t seem very June Cleaver like.)
Lemon garlic chicken was super easy to throw together. I made the lemon butter in the morning while everyone was getting ready for school. While the kids were enjoying an after-school treat I buttered the chicken and baked it while I was making a baseball practice drop-off and dance pick-up.
The potatoes were just as simple – smashed and roasted. I boiled them in the morning while I was working. While still hot I tossed them with butter.
Just before our company arrived I threw them on an oiled cookie sheet, smashed them and put them in the oven to roast while we enjoyed drinks and appetizers.
The meal was finished out with some asparagus that I had roasted earlier in the day and then served at room temperature with a quick sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
Like I said nothing fancy, just a simple tried and true meal that was fixed in 60 minutes, looked impressive, and was super easy to throw together.
You don’t have to wait to be surprised by last minute guests to fix this chicken, it is perfect any night of the week and the leftover chicken is perfect for chicken salad later in the week.
Lemon Garlic Chicken
4 bone-in chicken breasts
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon thinly sliced
Preheat oven 350°
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place chicken in large baking dish, lightly coated with oil, lightly salt and pepper each piece, set-aside.
In small bowl combine butter, lemon zest, garlic and parsley. Mix until combined. Rub about 1 tablespoon on each chicken, getting butter under the skin. Place 2-3 lemon slices on each piece of chicken.
Place pan in oven, bake for 40 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving