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Although I like to play up my competence, I’m just as likely to space out as the next guy or gal. Truth be told, I enjoy distraction–particularly of the entertainment variety–and have been known to stream this show or that a bit longer than I should when I’ve got something else to do. Like making dinner, for instance.

Surely you’ve been there too, oogling this internet site or that, or this tv show or that, when suddenly you realize “Oops! It’s time to make dinner and I’m the one making it!” You may also, like me, put off deciding what you’re actually making until show time? Such was the case for me the other night: I was oogling Huffington Post or similar and I’d neither thought about what I was making for dinner, nor left myself a decent amount of time to make it.

Fortunately for me, my refrigerator housed a family pack of fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a few lemons, all of which I used to (relatively) quickly create a main course. I also whipped up sweet pepper pasta (recipe coming soon!) and a nice big salad, but that’s another story (tip: when you’re running behind it’s always good to incrementally serve a meal–the pasta and salad I prepared were both accompaniments and delay tactics). 😉

So, long story abridged, here’s recipe numero dieci:

(ROASTED) LEMON CHICKEN

Ingredients: 10 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, ~2-3 tablespoons olive oil, ~20-30 stems of cilantro, ~2-3 lemons, ~1 tablespoon black pepper (optional: cayenne pepper) [if preparing fewer chicken breasts, adjust recipe accordingly]

Preparation: Preheat oven to 400 degrees (I used roasting mode). Rinse and remove excess fat from chicken breasts. Place in bowl, drain if necessary to remove excess water, and drizzle with olive oil. Hand-mix the chicken breasts and oil to coat. Slice lemons to desired thickness (tip: don’t slice too thin to retain adequate juice for flavoring/cooking), creating twice the number of slices as chicken breasts. Wash and dice (or process!) all cilantro.

Place chicken breasts in pan(s) leaving a bit of space between them. Sprinkle/press cilantro and black pepper onto chicken breasts. Place two lemon slices on each breast. Cover pan with aluminum foil (tip: use parchment paper if foil will touch chicken breasts) and place in oven (tip: place an oven-safe food thermometer into thickest chicken breast–through foil or similar if used–and remove from oven when desired temperature is reached). After ~1-1 1/4 hours, cut into thickest chicken breast and remove from oven when juices run clear and inside is white/opaque.

Immediately remove chicken breasts from pan and plate (placing extras in separate container to refrigerate). [plating tip: plate chicken with lemons atop and press lemons with fork to release juice; storage tip: store chicken with lemons atop and reheat the same way, then follow plating tip]

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For an extra bit of pop, add a sprinkle of cayenne when adding the cilantro and black pepper or after plating. Enjoy! 😀

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