This recipe came about because of the excess of lemons in our house due to my daughter’s Lemonade Stand this past Memorial Day (Read all about it HERE). I was in no way flummoxed as to what to do with bunches of lemons, as the lowly lemon can be thrown into so many dishes. With so many however I decided that the lemon flavor would be the star of this dinner.
You may know that you can make a quick emulsion if you whip lemon and butter together. I have tasted many pasta dishes with a lemon zing, which is usually achieved by using this basic premise.
I had chicken, I had spaghetti, I had butter, and I had lemons: this dish is the result. What can I say; it will be a staple from now on!
You will need:
3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup water
sea-salt (for seasoning meat and to taste)
2 lbs chicken thigh cutlets (no skin, no bones)
1 medium red or sweet onion, diced
1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
zest and juice of 3 lemons
8 tbs unsalted butter
sea salt & black pepper for seasoning
1 lb spaghetti pasta (I use Barilla brand)
Preheat oven 400*
* Cook the pasta while the chicken is resting. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining and reserve (you may need it at the end). Do not rinse the pasta. Add directly to the lemon sauce after draining*
1 – Scatter onions in bottom of big saute or roasting pan. Add zest from 1 lemon to pan, the water and 1/2 tsp of pepper flakes.
2 – Lay chicken on top (it is good if it’s snug). Season lightly with medium to coarse sea-salt, and the rest of the pepper flakes. Drizzle with the oil and place in the oven for
3 – Remove chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
4 – Put the pan on medium/high heat and add the lemon juice and remainder of the zest. Bring to a boil and let it bubble for 1 minutes. Take off heat.
5 – Add butter and swirl into sauce until melted.Taste sauce for addition of salt and pepper and adjust according to your liking.
6 – Add the pasta immediately and toss everything together.
Serve as it is with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and more cayenne pepper flakes…
or you can also add chicken