Saturday, May 22, 2010

lemon balsamic chicken

I don't know what you did, but thank you!
Just minutes after writing my last post, I got to work on dinner. And from the moment everyone got home from school to the 7:00 bedtime click of the girls' door, there were... (are you ready for this?) NO TEARS.
And hopefully I can say this without cursing myself...last night and tonight were also tear free. Whine free. Scream free. In all honesty, as I was making dinner tonight, I heard Sadie say to Rosie as they were working on their tag sale score of the day (American Girl Paper Dolls!), "Rosie! I just want to sh-argh. rah. AHHHHHHH! STOP!" But I put on the earmuffs, turned up the music (New Pornographers new album! Get it!) and the situation seemed to resolve itself with minimal bloodshed.
So what is it? Did someone out there work some wild dinner time magic? Or maybe it was just the power of writing it down? (amazing what that can do, really) Whatever it is, I won't question it. Although when I really delve deeper, I guess it is possible that just a teeny weeny bit of the dry eyes at dinner time might have something to do with what we ate that night. It might be the chicken.

I'm not a big chicken parts kind of girl. I like a nice buttery roast chicken, and I like chicken soup. But chicken parts with stuff grilled/broiled/baked in? I'll eat it without complaint, but I don't leap for the recipe. Honestly, chicken is a little too cooked for me. I like a good steak, maybe some duck or lamb. I like a piece of meat with some life in it, and by life I mean blood. If chicken bleeds is likely to make you sick, and I hold that against it.

But something in this recipe made me pause. All that lemon zest was enticing, and mostly I made it because Tammi told me to.

Tammi has a blog that you should be reading. I've never met her, but every time I'm in her kitchen by way of her writing, I laugh. I really laugh. I snort, and I spit out my coffee. She's funny, but she's so real and full of heart, which makes it even easier to laugh. She's also really on it when it comes to food. So when she told me that this was the best chicken ever, I said okay then- the best chicken ever is good enough for me. Bring on the chicken parts.

The whole family was coming over- that's us plus my mom and stepfather and sister, and I got a lot of chicken parts. I stuffed handfuls of green beans into a bag at the store, threw a little sack of orzo in the cart, and dinner was only a few zests of the lemon away.

And the chicken? Yes, I think it was perhaps the best chicken ever. It was one of those dinners that we couldn't stop talking about as we ate- "wow. good chicken. yeah. this is good chicken." Although I have to say that cold the next day, it might even have been better. This would be a damn fine picnic chicken, if your the sort who brings cold chicken on picnics (which I am not, but that might change after this one).

Because I really mean it about Tammi, I'm not even going to give you the recipe for this one. I'm going to send you over there, so you can take a peek around. Just make sure if you are drinking coffee that you aim away from your laptop if you are prone to snorting when you laugh. With a mouthful of coffee, a real laugh can be the death of your keyboard, so aim at the wall.


  1. You're so sweet!! Glad you liked the chicken--I hope it helped increase the peace at dinnertime. But, as you said, the discord comes in waves, same as our house!!

  2. As one of the recipients of this dinner- I can vouch for it's finger-licking deliciousness...and I'm not even a lemon zest person! Just imagine this scene- a somewhat interesting, quirky extended family sitting down to this beautiful chicken and continuing to ooh and aah all through dinner- so very yummy!