A Favorite Recipe: Chef Jerry Traunfeld’s Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Of all of the cities outside of the Midwest to which I’ve traveled, I’ve visited Seattle the most.

This is not by chance, as two of my good friends have resided there for years. The last time I visited Seattle was for my friend’s wedding during the winter of 2012. I felt giddy with excitement to find a coffee shop and Thai restaurant on every block. When Jake and I got married, our Seattle friend gave us a copy of Chef Jerry Traunfeld’s cookbook The Herbal Kitchen. Traunfeld is currently Chef Owner of Poppy, a restaurant that serves a Thali-inspired menu, and he’s opening Lionhead this spring which will serve his take on Szechuan cuisine.

As the book’s title suggests, An Herbal Kitchen focuses on cooking with herbs. I appreciate how this book includes recipes that are easy to prepare at home. I’m not into those glossy cookbooks that only include complicated recipes with 20 ingredients, most of which I will never be able to find in North Iowa. Right now, I seek recipes that are both elegant and approachable.

We’ve tried several dishes from The Herbal Kitchen and our favorite is the Lemon Rosemary Chicken. Chicken thighs are one of the most affordable and flavorful meats available and this recipe’s short ingredient list produces a complicated flavor that tastes like a million bucks. The olives, red onion, currants, and lemon cook down to something resembling a sweet and savory chutney. I like to add a little extra broth so we can sop-up the extra sauce with bread.

I’ve prepared this recipe with both boneless-skinless and bone-in chicken thighs with equally delicious results. You’ll find both methods below.

Chef Jerry Traunfeld’s Lemon Rosemary Chicken
Published by JeniEats with permission from Chef Traunfeld

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb. boneless-skinless chicken thighs
Salt & freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary (or about 1/2 this amount of dried)
1/2 cup chicken broth (or more if you like extra sauce)
Zest of one lemon, finely grated with microplane
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives
3 tablespoons (or more) of lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange chicken in a single layer and cook for about three-minutes or until browned. Stir the chicken and brown the other sides. Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat and add the onion and rosemary. Cook until the onion is softened (about three-minutes).
  4. De-glaze the pan with chicken broth, scraping up all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the lemon zest, currants, olives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper and browned chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 15-minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  6. Uncover pan and increase heat to high. Add lemon juice and cook until the sauce forms a glaze.

Bone-in Chicken Thigh Method:

Olive Chicken

  1. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 lb. boneless-skinless chicken thigh meat. I used 2 lbs of bone-in chicken thighs which equalled three thighs.
  2. Season thighs generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the chicken, skin-side down in oil until golden brown and rendered. Flip and sear on the other side until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. 
  4. If yo have a lot of fat, drain all but enough to coat the pan.
  5. Add the rosemary and onion and saute until the onion is soft.
  6. Add about a cup of chicken broth, lemon zest, currants, olives, salt and pepper.
  7. Place browned chicken on top and cover.
  8. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through (165℉).
  9. When the chicken is cooked, uncover and add lemon juice. Cook until sauce is as reduced as you like.

5 Comments

  1. Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try this dish. Thanks, Jeni.

  2. Oh my—this looks fabulous. Chris is not a fan of chicken thighs for some reason but I think I could win him over with these. 🙂

  3. i have to try this one! sounds like a great one for my husband too 🙂

  4. Yum! This looks really good. I’m going to try it for sure! 🙂

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