You could use chicken breasts to make this recipe, but I have no idea why you would. It's so weird that Americans have decided en masse that we like a dry, stringy chicken boob, discard the rest of the chicken if you please. Who knows what they do with the rest of the chicken - maybe grind it up into nuggets? Anyway, I prefer to use thighs. They are cheaper, moister, more flavorful, and you know that at least one part of the chicken isn't becoming garbage. You could also use a cut-up fryer to use even more of the chicken.
I've been making variations on this for a few years, and here are a few tips for making this recipe as green as possible:
- If available, choose organic ingredients. Better for the soil, better for you.
- If you're lucky enough to live in a city with a specialty market or butcher shop, buy your meat there to avoid excess packaging. In some areas, you can even find farmers who sell fresh meat.
- I use two gallon plastic zipper bags in this recipe for marinating and for coating the chicken with breadcrumbs. Because it's not really clean to reuse a chickeny bag, even washed, use bags that you've already used several times so they can go to their end in peace.
- Use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular. These usually have a much shorter ingredient list than the classic American-style, and they are more delicious.
Lemon Rosemary Chicken
At least 4 chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless, skin or no skin -- but skinless will be less fat)
juice of 2-3 fresh lemons
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems discarded and chopped fine
salt, pepper to taste
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed, or garlic powder
1 or so cups of panko breadcrumbs
Place all of the marinade ingredients into a gallon zipper bag and shake to mix (zip it first!). Then place the chicken inside and put in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. The marinade is quite acidic, so I wouldn't leave it in for much longer. You'll see that it starts to break down the surface of the chicken.
When it's almost time to cook, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees or thereabouts. (I've also cooked this on the stovetop in a heavy saute pan). Prepare a baking dish by spraying with an olive oil spray or greasing with butter.
Put the breadcrumbs into a different gallon zipper bag. Using a fork, transfer the chicken from the marinade into the breadcrumbs. Zip the bag and shake.
Put chicken in the baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes. You'll know the chicken is done when you insert a knife into the chicken and the juices run clear (instead of red). When it is done or nearly, spray the tops of the chicken with olive oil or olive oil spray and put under the broiler for about 3 minutes.
Voila! This is a nice springy-tasting dish, so it's great with some baby arugula and some asparagus.