Friday, August 28, 2015

Lemon Mesquite Roasted Chicken

We've been eating tons of chicken lately, maybe because I'm finding huge deals on chicken or just because we are poultry kind of people.  I rarely cook with beef, the prices being as high as they have been lately, but chicken is my go-to protein choice.  This recipe works as well on the grill as it does in the oven, and the ingredients are wonderfully versatile.

4-5 lbs. bone-in chicken, I used leg quarters ($1.95)
juice of 2 lemons or 4 limes ($.50)
1 stick, 1/4 C. butter or 4 T. butter and 4 T, olive oil($.50)
6-8 cloves garlic ($.20)
1 small shallot ($.20)
3 T. dry white wine, optional ($.10)
1/2 tsp. worchestershire sauce ($.05)
2-3 T. mesquite season blend ($.75)

Melt butter over medium heat in a small saute pan, add shallot and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Stir in all remaining ingredients except chicken, remove from heat, and cool 5 minutes.  Toss chicken with half of the herbed butter mixture.  Set aside remaining butter blend.

Bake chicken in an uncovered dish at 400F for 35-45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes until chicken is a deep golden hue and cooked through.  Drizzle with remaining butter blend upon serving.

Yields: 4-6 servings
Cost: $4.25
Cost per serving: $.71-$1.06 per serving

Serves well with:
1.  Garden salad, Italian or French bread
2.  Spinach salad, potatoes au gratin
3.  Baked beans, corn on the cob, side salad
4.  Spanish rice, refried beans, tortillas
5.  Potato salad, fresh watermelon
6.  Angel hair pasta in a scampi sauce, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms

Mesquite Seasoning Blend

I generally make my own season blends so I can control the salt content and as much as I love some of the store bought combinations, they never pack the flavor punch that I can create.  Here is my newest favorite, a mesquite and herb blend that has tons of flavor and is 100% salt free:

1 T. mesquite flavoring ($.35)
2 tsp. each: oregano, onion powder, granulated garlic, black pepper ($.25)
2 T. California sweet paprika ($.20)
1 tsp. each: basil and fennel seed ($.05)
3 tsp. cumin ($.05)
1/2 tsp. cayenne, optional ($.05)

Mix together, store in a sealed, airtight container.
Yields: 1-2 batches, enough to season 3-6 pounds of meat, poultry, or veggies.
Cost: $.95