This week has just about killed me. And I'm writing this on a Wednesday. I like to think that I'm someone who is a decent time manager. Where I fall down — hard, face on the floor — is with things I book well in advance. Know what I'm talking about? Of course I'll come and talk to your students about working in the magazine business next spring! I would love to write a research-heavy feature for you four months from now! No problem for me to be on that committee next year — sign me up! Then of course next month, spring and year roll around and you're doing everything you normally do AND the extra thing you committed to.
This is how my week ended up including a re-arranging of our entire home, a birthday party for Esme (five, can you believe it?) and house guests. They're all things I'm really happy about but also necessitate some very easy dinner plans. I wish I could take credit for making this busy week One Pot themed, but that was Laura's idea. Maybe she got a glimpse of my calendar and took pity? She's nice like that! Okay, enough of my high-class problems and onto dinner! I love lemon and thyme together and I really love a meal that comes together as easily as this one. If you don't have zucchini handy, mushrooms would also be good, too.
Truth time: If you're an eagle eye, you'll notice there are more lemons in this shot than are in the recipe. This beautiful looking pot of dinner tasted horrible! I sliced up an entire lemon when I made this dish with our photographer Maya and the bitterness the peel created was way too much. The next time I made it I used far less peel and more juice and it was fantastic. The recipe below reflects that important change. Let me know if you give it a try!
photos by Maya Visnyei
Lemon Thyme Chicken
8 chicken thighs (I buy boneless, skinless), cut into bite-sized pieces
2 glugs of olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemon, cut 3 thin slices and juice the rest (you'll be left with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of juice)
2 small-ish zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
6 to 8 branches of thyme
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm up your olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken in batches — don't over crowd your pot or the chicken won't brown nicely. You're not cooking the chicken right through so don't worry about that yet. Place the cooked chicken on a clean plate (never put it back on the plate or cutting board where you had your raw chicken!) and set aside. Drain most but not every bit of the fat left in your pot.
Put the pot back over medium heat. Don't worry if you've got some bits of meat sticking to the bottom, it will come off once you add your liquid. Sautee the onion, garlic, zucchini, thyme, and lemon slices. Stir it all together and allow the vegetables to just begin softening. Say, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken back to the pot and pour the stock and lemon juice over top. Give it all a stir, turn the heat down a touch and simmer for 30 minutes.
I served this with cous cous I made with chicken stock and parsley at the end. Which, okay, makes it two pots but cous cous is so fast to make and is so easy to clean up I'm not going to feel too bad about cheating. Okay? Okay!