19 September 2007

I am Martha, I am Martha....NOT.....Cindy's Lemon Garlic Chicken

Today is one of those days when I am clinging on to the last strains of summer with my heels dug in. Even though I love the fall and all it's glory, as some of you already know, I am having trouble giving up the summer months. The warm night breezes with a glass of wine and an exceptional meal on the patio I am a little too reluctant to give up.

This recipe is one of the most popular dishes prepared by chef Cindy Pawlcyn at her Mustards Grill restaurant in Napa Valley. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart's web site . Now...Martha Stewart I am not but I get an "A" for effort. The chicken was a little camera shy but as soon as I read the recipe I had to try it. Instead of roasting the chickens in the oven I put them on the barbeque. They were wolfed down pretty quickly I might add. I cooked some mashed potatoes on the side burner and away we go!!! Asparagus is not in season here right now, but with the vinaigrette prepared in this recipe it was superb!!!

The photo was taken at the Red Rooster Winery in Naramata. They have local artists' works on display upstairs. I apologize to the artist for not writing down his/her name for acknowledgement.

**Cindy's Lemon Garlic Chicken**

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette:

2 heads garlic
4 lemons
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons minced mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, sage, and marjoram
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram or oregano
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1 tsp freshly cracked black peppercorns
1-1/2 teaspoon minced shallot
2 (2-1.2 lb) chickens, halved and boned, wings left on
6 tablespoons olive oil


3 spring onions or scallions
1-1/2 - 2 lbs asparagus
1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon or chervil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Prepare the vinaigrette. Pull the heads of garlic apart, peel the cloves, and remove any green sprouts. Place the garlic in a small saucepan. Using a paring knife, remove the peel from the lemons. Carefully remove the pith from the peels and add the peels to the saucepan; discard the pith. Hold each lemon over the saucepan and cut between the membranes into sections allowing sections and juice to fall into the saucepan. Squeeze lemon from the membranes into the saucepan. Discard membranes. Add enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, then puree the lemons and garlic in a blender and measure out 1/2 cup for the vinaigrette. Reserve remaining lemon-garlic puree for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup of lemon-garlic puree with the vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper, until the salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in olive oil in a thin stream, and continue to whisk until fully emulsified; set aside.

Prepare the chickens. In a small bowl, combine the salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic, marjoram, sage, peppercorns, and shallots; mix well. Place chickens in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle herb mixture over, and rub until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.

Cook the chickens. Preheat the oven to 500F. Heat 3 T olive oil in each of two large ovenproof saute pans over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken halves to each saute pan, skin side down, and cook until brown, 3 - 4 minutes. Turn the chickens, and cook 3 minutes more,. Turn the chickens again, so that they are skin side down, and weigh each of them down with an ovenproof saute pan. Transfer to oven, and toast until the skin is crisp and the juices run clear, 8 - 12 minutes.

Prepare the vegetables. Slice the spring onions thinly on the diagonal, and rinse well. Snap off ends of the asparagus. Slice on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices up to the tips. Set the tips aside.

While the chickens are roasting, cook vegetables. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add spring onions and the asparagus stalks, and cook until soft, 3 - 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 T water, cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 3 - 4 minutes. Add asparagus tips, tarragon, and butter. Cook until the tips are heated through.

To serve, place mashed potatoes and vegetables on either side of the plate, the chicken in the centre, and drizzle all over with the vinaigrette.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. LOVE the title!:D
    Lemon Garlic chicken sounds so yum.

  2. This chicken looks really good and I will try this one soon...if I don't forget.

    We can all be Martha Stewart if we had a staff like hers. She is ambitious but there is not a person out there that can do all of that themselves

  3. I like the title too, very clever:-)
    the chicken sounds great and easy enough to try, should give it a go soon.
    X Matin

  4. I'm no Martha either, but I think I could manage this one, it just won't look as pretty as Martha's version!

  5. What a delectable sounding recipe, Valli...and lemon and garlic with chicken is one of those combinations that, in my opinion, is impossible to tire of. I am not surprised it disappeared in a hurry! :-)

  6. Mustards Grill in Napa is one of the places I always return to when I get a chance to visit there. It is a great spot that has been there for quite some time now!
    I think Chicken, Garlic and Lemons were made for each other! Perfect combo!

  7. Believe it or not, I have only tried Martha's sweet recipes. I am just a bit worried that her savoury recipes are not as good. That's what I experienced with Nigella. But this chicken sounds so yummy, I know I just have to try!

    PS: enjoy your fall! I am waiting so patiently for my summer!!!!

  8. That chicken sounds good. I have yet to try cooking a whole chicken though I will have to do it sometime...

  9. I think we all make pretty good Martha imitatators!!!
    I agree that lemon, garlic and chicken just go so well together.
    You've been to Mustards Grill Deb. Lucky you!!!!


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