Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

What Went Wrong ?
Usually, I post recipes that I think went really well!  I post recipes that look pretty and taste yummy!  This recipe looked delicious and I really have no idea how it went so wrong!  Here's the story... you tell me what you think happened!
I have always seen recipes for delicious braised chicken thighs.  Everyone says they are delicious!  I've grilled them before, but never really used them in a braised dish.  I love the flavors and how tender chicken thighs are... the bones don't bother me like they bother some people (ahem Jules).  I bought a huge pack of chicken thighs from the store and figured I would find a great recipe.  I visited one of my favorite websites The Food Network and searched braised chicken thighs.  Up popped Emeril's recipe for

The picture looks delicious, doesn't it?!  I love garlic and I love chicken, so I thought, "what the heck... I'll give it a go!"  Now, mind you, I'm not knocking Emeril's recipe.  I'm sure it's an absolutely fabulous recipe that many people love.  It received 4 out of 5 stars on Food Network's ratings.  I'm sure that it was all me that messed it up!

Here's Emeril's recipe


* 8 chicken thighs with bones and skin, about 3 1/2 pounds
* 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 3 cups thinly sliced onions
* 30 cloves (about 2 heads) garlic, peeled and smashed
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 1 bay leaf
* 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 1 pound angel hair pasta
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

 Because this was a recipe that I was trying to actually follow, rather than tweak too much, I did what Emeril told me to do (for the most part).  I pulled the chicken out of the package and seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper.  Next, I set up a small bowl with some flour, then, one by one, dipped the chicken in the flour to give it a nice, light coating.  Next, I heated up a bit of oil in the bottom of a frying pan. Using only a few thighs at a time, I gently placed them in the pan to brown.  The crackling and popping of the chicken in the oil was great!  It looked beautiful, all crispy and brown.

(the popping and crackling of the chicken was music to my ears!)

  At this point, I seriously considered just cooking the chicken all the way and making fried chicken... but, I didn't.  I flipped them after a few minutes to let them brown on the other side, then placed them on a paper towel lined plate to dry off a bit.  Since I had a ton of chicken, this whole process took a while to go through. By the time I was done, I had beautifully browned chicken (on the outside at least, the insides were still raw). 

(so delicious!)
Once all of the chicken was beautifully browned, I started to work on the lemon-garlic sauce.  I added the sliced onions to the pan and started sauteeing. 

(sooo much garlic! Vampires beware)

 Meanwhile, I set to work chopping 30 cloves of garlic... talk about scaring away vampires! 30 cloves is a ton of garlic to chop! I am now seriously considering buying one of those new fangled contraptions that peels your garlic for you (any tips on what brand works, if at all?).  Anyway, I threw the garlic into the pan to start sauteeing too.

Next, I added in all of the spices- the red pepper flakes, salt, and bay leaf.  Make sure to scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan because that's where all of the yummy flavors are trapped!  Now, I said that I wasn't going to change the recipe too much, but I did have a bunch of green beans. I decide to add those to the pan too.  I'm not sure if this was my downfall, but I didn't think it would have been a bit deal to add.  After that, I added in the lemon juice and the chicken broth. 

I don't have an actual braising pan.  You're supposed to make the whole thing in a braising pot, then add the chicken thighs, bring the liquids to a simmer, then cover it and bake it in the oven.  Since I had to improvise, I brought all of the liquids to a simmer, then transferred it to a baking dish.  Then, I added in the chicken thighs, covered it tightly with aluminum foil, and stuck it in the oven at 350. 

(looks good, doesn't it?)

I did also slice up some lemons into little wheels and threw those in there too. I thought they looked really pretty.  Maybe the rind of the lemon was the problem...

Anyway, after 20 minutes, I took the aluminum foil off the chicken and let the dish cook for an additional 15 minutes.  I also boiled some angel hair pasta to serve with the chicken.  I thought this would be yummy. 

(looked better than it tasted)

The whole dish looked absolutely delicious.  The chicken was tender and it looked great.  Unfortunately, the taste was awful.  It tasted like a bad mix of some type of bitterness and sourness.  I'm really not sure what happened or why.  It could be because I added in green beans, or maybe because I added the lemon rind, or maybe because I didn't have a real braising dish.  I have no idea.  I tried to pass it off to Curt like there wasn't anything wrong with it, but even he agreed that the taste was off somehow.  I didn't want to throw it all out, but I didn't like the taste.  I ended up throwing away everything, but the chicken.  I just somehow wiped everything off the chicken and was able to get rid of most of the bitter/sour.  I ended up just putting the chicken on the pasta, adding a bit of garlic salt and butter, then putting it all together.  It wasn't half bad... not idea, but it was better than wasting everything!

1 comment:

  1. The lemon rind may give the bitterness to your dish.I am very sure its not the braising dish because I don't have 1 either and I often did like what you have done.

    I usually stir in green beans 10 minutes before I dish out the food.

    Hope this helps :)