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Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Infused Chicken

Still working through all the gorgeous Meyer lemons our friend Betsy sent us from her home in Healdsburg. This is an incredibly simple chicken dish that does most of the work on its own, as it cooks away for an hour on the stovetop. Ladled over noodles or rice, it is a comforting meal served to guests or enjoyed simply for a week-night meal.

I used skin on chicken thighs. Any cut of chicken will do, you just want to make sure to leave the skin on and that you use a pot large enough that it all fits atop the onion, lemon and rosemary mixture in one layer.

Here goes! Salt & pepper the chicken pieces liberally adding to a heavily olive oiled pot that you are going to cook the entire thing in. The pot you choose will need to have a tightly fitted lid. Cook chicken on medium high heat until the skin side is a browned, then flip and cook other side for a few minutes. You are not cooking the meat all the way through, as it will cook with everything else for an hour in a bit. Take chicken out, put on a plate and set aside.

Turn burner to medium low. In the same pot, now add a chopped up sweet onion or two, a Meyer lemon quartered and a few whole springs of rosemary. Toss all with the oil that was remaining to coat, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Then add back all the chicken, nestling it among the mixture. Be sure to add in any juices that accumulated on the plate the chicken was resting on. Turn the heat to low, put the cover on. Let cook for half an hour, checking it to see if it needs a splash of water or white wine at that point if needed. Most likely it won’t. Put lid back on and cook for another half hour. At the hour mark, check the chicken with a meat thermometer so it reads 165 degrees. Done! The Meyer lemon and rosemary will have done their magic. Discard. Ladle the onion mixture over your pasta or rice, then top with a piece of chicken.



Chicken with Meyer Lemons, Olives & Rosemary

20150312-050821.jpg I am finding bags of Meyer lemons to be plentiful this time of year. The sweet thin skinned lemons the perfect addition to chicken. This easy Provençal inspired dish feels a bit like Summer, even when it is not.

Oven to 400. Of course. Salt, pepper and olive oil skinless boneless chicken thighs that you have put in a baking dish. I prefer skinless for this as it produces way less fat, and the sauce at the end becomes part of the dish. I prefer thighs to white meat for this, as they stay moist. If you are not a dark meat fan, then for sure try with breast meat, just watch super carefully to not over cook the meat.

Then add a few sprigs of rosemary and a handful of olives. Cut up Meyer lemons, some halved and some quartered, tucking them here and there among the chicken. Lastly, pour over a bit of good white wine to moisten the entire mixture. Bake/roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken registers 165 degrees on a thermometer. Several times during the cooking process, move things around a bit in the dish. Start spooning over the juice that is being created over the meat. Add more white wine if you think more liquid is needed.

End result, you will get super moist chicken along with an amazing sauce that the lemons, olives, rosemary, olive oil and the chicken drippings have produced. Serve over basmati or jasmine rice or egg noodles, being sure to ladle over that precious sauce. The Meyer lemons are edible, skin and all, so give those a try too. This is easy enough for a week night meal but also has an earthly quality that makes for a stellar meal to serve to guests.



A Sunny Drink on a Chilly Day

20150128-075155.jpg I like the idea of drinking a Summery drink on a cold day, as long as that chilly drink is consumed by a fire or wrapped up in a blanket reading a good book. This was just the ticket yesterday, as the temperature dipped, so this sunny drink it would be.

A Style & Simplicity originated at my Seattle book signing party last May, and has been thoroughly enjoyed since. You may certainly use Veuve, but Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco, works perfectly and is much more budget friendly. The secret is using Meyer lemon simple syrup. We sell it at the First Avenue shop, but I know it is now available at many grocery shops. Simply fill your favorite tumbler with ice, add a slice of Meyer lemon, then add a spoonful of the simple syrup, then pour in the bubbly. Give all a nice stir. Will take you right back to a sunny day.




Jam Jar Vinaigrette

20141210-034128.jpg This post really is for all of you who are jam lovers like myself and how to make a vinaigrette with whatever jar of jam you have in the fridge that is almost used up. This is when I like to make a dressing out of the little bit that is left in the bottom of the jar. It makes for some very interesting flavor combinations for your next salad.

I make it right in the jar. Add a big dollop of Dijon mustard to the bit of jam at the bottom of the bottle. Then juice a lemon to the mix, as well as a good of amount of salt & pepper. We had a Meyer lemon so I used that last night. Then add extra virgin olive oil to the bottle, an equal amount to a bit more to what is already part of the mix. Put the jam jar lid back on, screw it on nice and tight, and shake shake shake. Done. Stores beautifully in the fridge. Ours rarely lasts that long because we eat it up right away on a big salad.

Happy middle of the week everyone!



The Sweetness of Meyer Lemons

20130126-075212.jpg I have written about the goodness of Meyer Lemons before, but seeing them again at the Market and the grocery store in plentiful displays is prompting me to give them another shout-out. They are so good! They have such a sweetness to them, the Meyer lemon is the perfect thing to cook a myriad of things with. Last night I baked/poached a piece of cod in a shallow bath of white wine, extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon juice, salt & pepper. The flavor of the lemon being the prevailing ever so slight, but ever so tasty note to the fish. I also sliced a Meyer lemon and put the slices on top of the fish, to really infuse from both the top and the bottom. If you serve the cod with rice, you can spoon over some of the liquid as a bit of sauce. Super easy, super satisfying and lemony.

As I am typing the above I know I will be asked this today by readers who come into the shops. If it was Friday, why were we not having pizza and martinis? During the Winter months we switch it up a bit and head to our place on Vashon Island many Sunday mornings, as arriving in the cold, rain and dark on Saturday eve is not the most comforting of things after a long work week. So every once in awhile, we do the martini/pizza night on Saturday. We do love tradition here in the Watson Sive household…

A lovely, lovely Saturday to all of you!




Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil

20120313-062326.jpg Meyer lemons were in plentiful supply at the grocer the other day, so I grabbed a bag and thought I would whip up a little infused oil with the beautifully bright skins. This is such an easy process, and it yields quite lovely stuff in the end–great for dipping bread, super as part of a vinaigrette.

20120313-062955.jpg Warm 2 cups extra virgin olive oil and the peel from 4 Meyer lemons over low heat for 15 minutes. Then take off of heat and allow to cool in the pan for 45 minutes. Once cooled, carefully pour oil into a container of choice, leaving the peel behind. I chose glass jam jars–one to stay at the beach, and the other for town. It is that simple & quick. These make great little host/hostess gifts too.




Chicken Breast with Cracked Pepper Chevre & Meyer Lemon Sauce

20111228-045607.jpg What is it about being on vacation–you are doing quite a bit of nothing, and yet you are still starved when dinner rolls around? This was the case last night for us. I had picked up a bag of Meyer lemons at the market, and was wanting to incorporate them somehow into dinner. I have also been on a chevre kick lately, so I thought that would work nicely into the meal, as well. Here is what I came up with.

You will want bone in, and skin on your chicken breast for this recipe. The bone in the chicken really helps to keep the meat moist, and I just like the earthiness of the bone as part of this dish. Take plain chevre and add a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper to it. Working carefully with the chicken skin, slip your finger under the skin and create a pocket. Insert the peppered chevre in that pocket. Place the chicken in a skillet that can work in the oven as well as the stovetop. Lather the chicken breasts with a healthy amount of extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally. Place the skillet with the chicken breasts into a pre-heated 400 degree oven. Depending on the size of the breast, it will take 35 to 45 minutes to cook. A few minutes before they are done, turn the broiler on. Place them under the broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking. This will also make the skin a beautiful golden brown and do great things to the chevre that is now oozing out from under the skin.

While the chicken is finishing up, juice 3 Meyer lemons. This juice, along with some of the pan drippings will help create the sauce. Once the chicken is done, carefully take the skillet out of the oven and place on a burner on the stovetop. Take the chicken out and place on a plate to rest, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.

I can not stress the importance here of being careful as the skillet and the handle are still really hot. Add the Meyer lemon juice to the skillet. The burner should be on medium to medium high. Take a whisk and try and get up any bits that have formed from the cooking of the chicken. These little bits are culinary gold. Those, along with the chicken fat, olive oil and salt and pepper that have dripped off the chicken in the cooking process, along with the lemon juice, are going to create an out of this world sauce. Once the liquid has reduced by half and thickened, the sauce is done.

I take a sharp knife and create a slit in the middle of the chicken breast, and spoon in the sauce. It creates a bit of a well, and moistens the chicken even further. This also helps to keep the skin nice and brown, instead of pouring it over the entire breast and saturating the skin. I had not done this step yet when I took the above photo. The sauce is great spooned over rice or mashed potatoes too.



Meyer Lemon Love

20111222-215650.jpg I am crazy for citrus even more than usual this time of year. The citrus I seek out the most are Meyer lemons. My friend Catherine gave me the gift of a Meyer lemon ohhhhh so many years ago, and I have loved them since. The lemon is actually named after the fellow, Frank Meyer, who introduced it to the United States after collecting a sample on a trip to China in 1908. The thing I like most about them is the sweetness, and how less tart they are than a regular lemon. A slice can transform a regular glass of sparking water into something extraordinary. I was so happy when I found these little twists on one of my buying trips. They are a great little jar to have around when the Meyer lemon is out of season.

They are more expensive than a regular lemon, but they are such a treat. The Meyer lemon yields quite a bit more juice than a lemon, so they are great for when you whip up a vinaigrette or any other recipe that calls for lemon juice.