Israeli Lemon Chicken ~~ Everyday Easy or Company Fancy

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Most Recipes Have a History


My youngest brother married a woman named Maggie. Although my children were much older that their children we became good friends and spent a great deal of time together. We also belonged to the same small inter-denominational church for about fifteen years. Before she married my brother Maggie was an elementary school teacher. Not from a political viewpoint, but simply as a Christian, Maggie had a "heart for Israel." If you don't know what I mean by that, I don't know how to explain it any better.


When Maggie quit teaching to stay home with her children, she began teaching Sunday School at our church and my three sons were in her class. Maggie believed that as Christians we should remember that the Hebrews were God's chosen people, that Judaism is the parent religion of Christianity, that we share an enormous body of Holy Scripture with the Jewish people, and that Jesus was an observant Jew. So one of Maggie's goals in Sunday School, and with her extended family, was to convey those truths along with the more traditional Bible stories of Noah, King David, Moses, Queen Esther, and Elijah.


Maggie involved our family and her Sunday School students in a number of Jewish- Christian celebrations. We celebrated Passover as a family for many years and we celebrated Israeli Day at church for the students and their parents. I supported all of Maggie's celebrations and projects and often helped with the cooking. There were many "good" recipes, but one "great" recipe that my sons have asked for over and over. I got the recipe from Maggie and I have tinkered with it a little -- so I guess it really should be called "Maggie's and Theresa's Israeli Lemon Chicken." Enjoy!

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What You Will Need to Have on Hand


6 chicken breasts or 8 thighs or 10 drumsticks


1/4 - 1/2 cup melted butter / margarine / olive oil (1/2 if chicken is skinless, otherwise 1/4) -- I happen to prefer using a good quality aromatic olive oil, for its health benefits and flavor.

2 - 3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp. parsley

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp black or white pepper (your preference)

3 - 4 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 cup uncooked rice

2 cups liquid, white wine or water or 1 cup of each

1 jar or can of pearl onions with liquid


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Preparation and Cooking Directions


Start preheating your oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients (including the rice) except the pieces of chicken and the melted butter. Stir gently, but stir well. Pour mixture into the bottom of a flat glass or aluminum baking pan that has been generously sprayed with Pam or a generic equivalent. Stir gently to make sure the rice is well distributed.


Gently lay the chicken pieces on top of the rice / onion / wine mixture. Drizzle the melted butter across the chicken and rice. Seal the baking pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for one hour. Set the oven timer and go do something else -- read a book, weed in your garden, play with your children, work on that sewing project, take a nap. :)


When the timer goes of remove the foil carefully - you may need to reuse it. (My maternal grandmother would wash, dry, fold up, and reuse her foil four or five times before she threw it away. When times were particularly tight I reused my foil as well, still occasionally do even though I can now afford to be profligate with my Reynold's Wrap.) Gently stir the rice and onions to redistribute the remaining liquid. Next comes the tricky part where you will have to use your own judgement.


Here goes: (1) If the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid or is almost dry, turn the oven down to 300 degrees, reseal the pan tightly with foil and bake for another 45 minutes. (2) If there is a lot of liquid left in the pan leave the foil off, leave the temperature alone, and return the pan to the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. (3) If there is some liquid left, but not too much, then reduce the heat 25 degrees and lay the foil loosely over the pan before returning it to the oven for 45-60 minutes. In all three cases, check the chicken and rice at 30 and 45 minutes and adjust the foil as needed to end up with well-cooked chicken, but slightly moist rice and onions.


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Weekday or Company Meal


Don't forget to remove the bay leaf before serving. This is a wonderful weeknight dinner with a hearty salad. However, if you work full time like I do, you might want to throw this together and bake it Sunday evening, refrigerate it, and then reheat in a very slow oven for Monday night's dinner or it makes a great Saturday or Sunday dinner.

The recipe can be easily doubled, but you might want to watch the heat and fluid absorption a little more closely. If you are having company, add your favorite green vegetable - asparagus, baby brussell sprouts, green beans with slivered almonds, or baby peas and carrots. Add your favorite fruit salad and a crusty loaf of bread or croissants and everyone will be pleased. Happy cooking and entertaining.

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Thank you for Commenting on this Hub 41 comments

Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

Sounds delicious, and before I got to the end, I was already thinking this would make a great make ahead meal, which I do often to make my week less stressful! Thanks for sharing!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

It really is good. You just about can't beat lemon, onion, and garlic -- they make everything taste better. I forget to mention (think I will go back and add it) that for both flavor and health reasons the butter/ margarine can be replaced with a good quality olive oil. And then it tastes even "more Mediterranean!" You are very welcome and enjoy! Theresa


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Just what I love, "Everday Easy" or "Company Fancy" you cannot lose with this delicious recipe here. I love how you added the interesting story of Maggie in with this great recipe, which as a special touch to a recipe hub!

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Easy. Thank you for this. And thanks for the great pictures.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Faith - Glad this one appeals to you. I do like dishes that can be served simply, but also dress up well. And it was a great opportunity to share a little about my sister-in-law. As always thanks for the comments, votes,and sharing. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you. Blessings! :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You are very welcome Mhatter. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for reading and commenting. Theresa


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

love the history and the recipe.. yeah its kind of important to tell folks where it all started from.. good concept


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

so well done with great photos. Love this. Voting up and pinning.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks Frank. If I didn't get to tell the history, I am not sure I would ever do a recipe hub. They are so intertwined for me. I knew this about myself at a young age. By the time I was 15 I already had cookbooks categorized in my head as good and useless. Useless Cookbooks were full of recipes and terrific pictures of food. Good cookbooks were often old, had few or no pictures, but told stories in which recipes were embedded. I would sit in an easy chair and read them. I had no idea how much they had influenced me until I wrote my first recipe Hub for HP. Funny, :)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

Oooh…the slow cooking must make the whole house smell fabulous and the chicken very tender. Thanks for this must-try-soon recipe that will be a dependable make-ahead as well as something worth discussing over dinner! :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Morning RT - Too bad they haven't invented smellavison or smellanet yet - boy would we rush to our computers to smell all these great recipes. I am with you though, chicken, onion, garlic and lemon, pretty much is to die for. :) Glad it struck a chord with you. Have a great day. Theresa


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 3 years ago from Hawaii

Sounds good! And it involves rice, so I know my man will be on board. Plus, garlic and lemon are two of my favorite ingredients. Pinning so I don't loose track of it!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Carol - Thank you for your kind words and I appreciate your votes and pinning it. Hope you enjoy this and have a wonderful week. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Natasha - We love rice too. I am like you, you can't beat lemon and garlic. They are the best. I hope your week has gotten off to a great start. :) Theresa


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Very nice. This could be as simple or as elegant as one likes.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you for reading and commenting avian - I love recipes and meals that can go either way. Hope you are having a terrific week. :) Theresa


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas

I love to make lemon pepper chicken. This is different, though, and I would like to try it if I get a chance. :) Thanks for sharing. Love the history of it, too.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi shanmarie - Oh I love lemon ppepper combinations too, but I think you will probably enjoy this. It takes a while in the oven, but the prep time is 20-25 minutes and the you can walk away (which is actually my favorite part of any recipe). :) So glad you liked the history...don't think I have ever written a recipe hub without a good bit of history. :) Take care. Theresa


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

The opening photo is very inviting, and the intro story about Maggie is lovely. This recipe sounds fantastic too! ~Lurana


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Lurana - A woman after my own heart. When I found that picture, I simply fell in love with it. :) So glad you liked the story about Maggie. Do try the recipe some time. It really is good --- if you loke lemon, garlic, and onions. :) Theresa


Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 3 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I cant say anyth about receipe but pictures are great! -))

)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Pavlo. I just love finding good pictures to go along with a hub. I hope that you and your family are doing well. :) Theresa


Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

I did make this! It was delicious, thanks for sharing it again!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I am so glad it turned out well and that you enjoyed it. I was just scanning my hubs and when I saw that one I didn't have the ingredients to make it myself, so I did the next best thing and shared it. :) I am putting the ingredients on my shopping lisr for next week. :) I hope you are having a great week. Theresa


Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

You as well!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

just revisiting to print it out again thanks!!!!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I am happy any time you visit Frank. Glad you enjoyed the Israeli Chicken. We certainly do.

I imagine like most Americans you are all bundled up in this cold weather. We don't know what to do with ourselves in Georgia when it drops below 30...two nights in a row at 22 degrees. The cats still want to out but five minutes later they are ready to come in. :) Take care. Theresa


SRPowell profile image

SRPowell 2 years ago from USA

This sounds delicious. I have to add this to our dinner rotation. I'm sure my family will love it. Thanks for sharing!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You are so very welcome SRP. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine. Feel free to play with the spices and lemon juice, etc., until you get it right where you like it. Enjoy! :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Looks and sounds delicious. And what great photos! I enjoyed just looking at the pics!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Rebecca. I have to admit, I loved those pictures when I found them. :) And the chicken dish is pretty amazing too. :) Hope all is well. Theresa


Patsybell profile image

Patsybell 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

This sounds like my new favorite chicken and rice recipe. Thanks for sharing. This is way better than the one with a can of cream of something soup. Voted up, U, I, tweet, share.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

This looks great Theresa! I don't eat meat, but often cook it for others!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Patsy - I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do. :) Blessings!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Audrey - Thanks for dropping by and reading this hub. I bet your company will enjoy thine. Mine always seem to. Hope all is well. Blessings. Theresa


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 23 months ago from Planet Earth

Wish I had some pearl onions - I have almost everything I need to make this dish, and it sounds so good! I've had lemon chicken (in Chinese food, usually) but I've never tried to make it before. I will get brave now!

Voted up & up!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York

I'm certainly up for this dish! So glad someone got it started again so I could find it here.

I have several chicken-lemon recipes but this one is so complete! Loved reading about you sister-in-law as well.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 23 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Marcy - I am sure it would be good with sliced rings of a sweet onion. I think the pearl onion just fancy it up a bit and they are mild of course. :) Its funny that you mention it...I like Chinese Lemon Chicken as well. Thanks for reading and commenting. Take care. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 23 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Mary - Glad you enjoyed the story about my sister-in-law. We have had a wonderful over the years, sharing Jewish customs and rituals with her. Thanks for the kind comments and votes. Hope you are staying warm. We are in the low twenties this week, which for Georgia, is pretty cold. :) Take care. Theresa


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York

Its not easy staying warm. With wind chill factors we are below zero so the best place for me is in the house! Have a great weekend.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 23 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Oh my, Mary!! It seems so terribly cold here, but I know it is just because we aren't used to or prepared for it. I can't imagine living in "Serious Cold" like you and so many others do. Take care. Blessings! Theresa

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