grilled lemon-rosemary chicken

     Happy Groundhog's Day, ya'll. It is a lovely, sunny day in coastal Georgia. In honor of General Beauregard Lee, the South's most famous groundhog, NOT seeing his shadow, I'm sharing a spring-like recipe... great any time of year.
     I can't guarantee that Beau is right, but even if a late-season blizzard strikes, this chicken will warm your soul! I occasionally make this for my church family. It increases easily from serving six to a hundred or so.
     By searing the chicken briefly on the grill to impart flavor and visual appeal, then finishing in the oven, you will ensure a moist piece of meat every time. Why don't you try it at your next dinner party?
     Lemon Rosemary Chicken looks pretty and fancy. Place it on your best platter. Drizzle a bit of sauce over. Add a whole sprig of rosemary and a sliced lemon for garnish.
     Be sure to stick a piece of lemon zest in your hair on the way to the dining room and viola! Your guests will think you slaved for days. Only you and I will know the truth... And I'll never tell.
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 large onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
several sprigs of rosemary, stripped off stem and finely chopped
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 c. white wine
juice of 2 lemons
1 c. chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides to sear. When chicken is caramelized and nicely marked on the outside, remove from grill and place in baking dish.
Meanwhile, in flat saute pan, heat oil and cook red pepper flakes, onion and garlic until they begin to brown. Toss in rosemary, lemon zest and white wine. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then pour in lemon juice and stock. Taste for salt and add sparingly. Add pepper liberally.
Pour the sauce over chicken in baking dish. Bake for around 30 minutes at 325 degrees, or until breasts are done.
While chicken is resting, pour off juices into a small saucepan and reduce on medium high for ten or fifteen minutes, or until sauce is reduced by half. Serve with chicken.
     I like to serve this over orzo or farfalle pasta, using the reduced sauce to toss with pasta. It is equally delicious with roasted new potatoes. And most importantly, don't forget a colorful green veggie! Pretty food is SO important:)

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