Oven-baked chicken from blogger and food photographer Béatrice Peltre. "The lemon juice, honey, and oregano in which this chicken dish is cooked will give you a scrumptious zesty sauce to dip your bread in! Sometimes I like to add grated ginger to give the dish an exotic hint — also because anything cooked with ginger makes me happy."
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano*
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
4 chicken legs (about 2 lb.), each cut in half, or 8 drumsticks**
4 green zebra tomatoes, quartered***
1/2 cup unpitted black kalamata olives
1/4 cup cold water
1 lb. haricots verts (thin French green beans)
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
* And as for the oregano, any Mediterranean herbs, such as thyme or marjoram, for example, work well too.
** For more flavour, marinate the meat for an hour before cooking it, or even brine it first, but if you're short on time, skipping these steps is just fine.
*** Zebra tomatoes have a subtly sweet taste that I find irresistible. If you have difficulty finding them, use another variety instead.
Step 1: In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, oregano, garlic and oil. Season with sea salt and pepper and mix until smooth. Arrange the chicken legs in an oven dish and coat them with this sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add the tomatoes, olives, and 1/4 cup water to the chicken, place in the oven, and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown.
Step 3: While the chicken is cooking, blanch the haricots verts in a pot of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse them under cold water to stop them from cooking; set aside.
Step 4: Five minutes before the chicken is done, add the haricots verts to the dish. When you're ready to serve, add the parsley. Enjoy with steamed potatoes, mashed potatoes, or steamed rice on the side — and don't forget the bread to sop up the sauce.
Note on brining meat: When you take the time to brine legs of chicken, for example, you end up with extremely tender meat. The way I do it is as follows: For the brine, count about 4 cups water for every pound of chicken. For 2 quarts, use 1/2 cup kosher salt, 3 tbsp of sea salt, and 4 tbsp of fine sugar. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and immerse the chicken legs in this salty water. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. When ready to use, drain the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels.
See more recipes by Béatrice Peltre.
Reprinted with permission from Béatrice Peltre's La Tartine Gourmande (2012 Roost Books).