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Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters.

I will forever sing the praises of cooking with cast iron. Cast iron is oven-safe, provides even heating, and takes extreme heat from the stovetop or oven in stride.

You can prepare everything from breakfast bacon and eggs to dessert cobblers in these kitchen workhorses. One of the best investments you can make for your kitchen is to purchase quality cast-iron cookware.

Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters

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Remember to take a few seconds to pat the chicken dry with clean paper towels. The drier the skin is, the crispier the chicken will be.

Also, bone-in, skin-on chicken will always be more flavorful than boneless/skinless chicken. The skin helps to keep the chicken from drying out too quickly.

  • 3 to 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 3- to 4 ¼-inch-thick slices of unsalted butter
  • 1 large lemon sliced (you’ll need one lemon slice per leg quarter)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Olive oil

Mix the salt, pepper, thyme and paprika in a small bowl. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto the chicken pieces. Use your (clean) hands to rub the seasonings onto the chicken.

Very carefully, separate the skin from the chicken thigh portion by placing your finger underneath the skin. Slide a pat of butter and a lemon slice underneath the skin of each thigh. The lemon adds a wonderfully bright flavor and also helps to baste the chicken while it cooks.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil into the cast-iron skillet over high heat. Carefully place the leg quarters (skin side down) into the pan. The chicken should begin to sear immediately.

When the skins are a deep golden brown color and release from the skillet, turn them skin side up and place any remaining lemon slices you have in and around the chicken. Put the skillet into the preheated oven. Roast the chicken for about 10 to 15 minutes. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees at the thigh’s meatiest part without touching the bone. Remove from oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving. The chicken will continue to cook during this time.

Roasted Potatoes

One of the most overlooked canned vegetables, in my opinion, is whole potatoes. The potatoes are peeled and already partially cooked. For this recipe, they will roast in the oven alongside the chicken leg quarters at the same time and temperature.

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans whole potatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Chopped parsley for garnishing

Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add seasonings and stir into the melted butter. Place potatoes into the skillet and use a spatula to toss them to thoroughly coat. Roast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Arugula Salad With Lemon Parmesan Dressing

This is a recipe from Epicurious that I have used for years. Its bright, lemony flavor is perfect for springtime salads. Arugula, in particular, pairs well with the tartness of the lemon.

  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 4 cups (packed) baby arugula
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber

Blend the first 4 ingredients in a processor; season dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Cover; chill for up to 3 days. Combine arugula, tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, shares recipes, table decor ideas and advice on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram and fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.

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