Monday, August 17, 2009

McSmith's Farm and a Lemon Chicken recipe

I have been to McSmith's Farm twice in the past 5 weeks. What a lovely experience. This farm is the real deal. They sell fresh, organic, free range chickens every two weeks on a Saturday morning from around 10AM to 1PM. From the London area, going south on Wellington Road, the cutoff for McSmith's Farm is exactly 9 km south of Regina Mundi Highschool. Just follow the signs - believe me - it will be worth it.

McSmith's also has fresh and frozen organic, free range chicken pieces, such as boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, and bone-in chicken thighs (my favorites). They are pre-packaged in freezer safe storage pouches, so they could not be more convenient to have on hand. I was so delighted with the quality of the chicken that I went out and bought a separate small freezer. For more information on McSmith's, you can check their website at, but for now, I want to share a new lemon chicken recipe that I tried the last time I had the bone-in chicken thighs on hand. This recipe is not in my recipe book, GOOD FOOD, but I wanted to share it becauseI KNOW you will enjoy it. We sure did.


3-4 pounds chicken parts (thighs and legs recommended), skin-on, bone-in, trimmed of excess fat
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried) (optional)
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

2-3 Tbsp melted butter
Lemon slices for garnish

1 Place lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, whisk to combine. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut into each chicken piece one or two times by about 1/2 an inch. (This will help the marinade penetrate.) Place the chicken pieces and the marinade in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Rotate the bag so that all chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (in case of leakage). Let marinate for 2 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chicken from marinade and place in a single layer in a large baking dish, skin side up. Reserve the marinade. Use a pastry brush to brush a little melted butter on to each piece of chicken.

3 Bake for a total of 50 to 55 minutes, until the skins are crispy brown, and the chicken is cooked through, juices running clear (breasts have an internal temperature of 165°F and thighs 175°F). Half-way through the baking, at about the 25 minute mark, baste the chicken pieces generously with reserved marinade.
Depending on the size of the breasts, they may be ready before the thighs, so if you are cooking a mix of chicken parts, keep that in mind, you may have to take them out of the oven before the thighs.
Let rest, covered in foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

4 Pour the juices from the pan into a serving bowl. Use a tablespoon to skim the fat off the top (save the fat for cooking with later, or discard, but do not discard down the drain or it will solidify and clog your drain). Serve the chicken with the juices on the side or a little poured over the top of the chicken.
Serves 4-6. Serve alone or with steamed vegetables, or "Cauliflower Rice."