Brined Lemon-Herb Chicken

A few months ago, I bought Marie Kondo's book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. It's taken me a while to apply her method, but I finally feel ready to take it on. I feel even more motivated because I'm about to move (again) and I would like to live a more minimalist lifestyle. I'm also motivated because I don't want to move so much crap from point A to point B again. I'd like my next place to have more open space and lack of clutter. I don't think I'm the kind of person that acquires random "stuff," and when I find excess in my life that no longer serves a purpose I happily donate it to Goodwill. I'm just seriously questioning what is necessary in my life and where I can trim off excess things that will go in a box and eventually be put back on a shelf. This is a learning process and a practice. I just want to use all that I have so that I can appreciate everything.

As I think about how I'm going to box up my kitchen stuff, I'm pretty proud of the fact that I didn't fill my cabinets up with a bunch of gadgets that only do one thing. Despite all my tidying up, the one kitchen gadget that only does one task that will always stick around is my wine bottle opener, of course.

Speaking of wine, this chicken really needs a nice white wine with it! I've been drinking a lot of Chardonnay since moving to California, which is really unusual for me. My go-to white is Sauvignon blanc, but an unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay has been hitting the spot lately. Both would be nice with this recipe.

For this recipe, I was inspired by "The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat" recipe in the book Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan, which is one of my favorite Paleo cookbooks. Her recipe is for a heavily spiced brined chicken breast, and it's fantastic. Brining makes chicken tender and taste like it's from a fancy restaurant. As I was browsing the book the other night, I noticed a post-it to remind me to swap out the spices and make a fresh an herbal version, so here it is!

Look for "poultry blend" fresh herbs at the store. It's a mix of sage, thyme, and rosemary. That way you won't have to buy them separately. And before you freak out at the amount of salt, it doesn't make the chicken salty. It makes the magic happen.

Brined Lemon-Herb Chicken
Printable Recipe

8 cups water
3 tbsp of salt
4 garlic cloves, slightly crushed but whole
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 to 4 chicken breasts)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced fresh sage
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
8 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Add water to a large zip-top bag placed within a large bowl. Add water and salt to the bag and mix to dissolve. Add garlic, peppercorns, and chicken and seal the bag. Place in refrigerator 2 hours to overnight. Rinse chicken well and dry well with paper towels.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking tray with foil.
3. In a small bowl, blend juice, zest, sage, rosemary, thyme, oil, and pepper. Massage over dried chicken. Place chicken on the tray. Roast for approximately 35 min, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees F. Remove from oven and rest at least 5 min before serving. Serve with pan juices drizzled on top.

Makes 8 servings. 21 Day Fix containers per serving: 1 red, 1 tsp

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