When I first started dating my husband, word got around that I really liked cookbooks; that Christmas his parents gave me my very first British cookbook (it was a Gary Rhodes book). The book sparked my interest in British cooking, and soon I expanded the collection myself. One of the first British cookbooks I bought, was by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who at the time was a big name in the UK bot not in the US. The book is called Gordon Ramsay’s Fast Food: Recipes From “The F Word”, and it’s full of delicious, quick to make foods that don’t require you have an advanced culinary degree. Unpretentious, uncomplicated food is Ramsay’s style, which is why despite not being terribly fond of his ways on Kitchen Nightmares, I do love his cooking and his cookbooks, and I have yet to try a recipe from him that wasn’t a success. This recipe was no different. The only changes I made was that I used boneless skinless chicken thighs in place for the whole chicken cut into pieces, and used balsamic in place of the called-for sherry vinegar. I used the thighs for a couple of reason, but mostly to speed up the prep process as I didn’t have to cut up the chicken myself. I’ve made the directions a bit clearer where I felt the novice cook could benefit from it.
Sticky Lemon Chicken
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
sea salt and black pepper
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
a few fresh thyme sprigs
a splash of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 lemon, finely sliced
Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Brown the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, over a high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2 – 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Return all the chicken to the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix. If you find that the liquid is still too thin after the 10 minutes, turn the heat up to high so that it will reduce quicker. Take care not to burn the chicken.
Pour in a good splash of hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so. By now the chicken should be cooked through.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and sprinkle the parsley over it.
If that is not simple then I don’t know what is! You can really taste the sweetness of the honey, the garlic, and the thyme. The lemon is a very nice touch and ties the whole thing together. We ate it wish mashed potatoes, but it would also go very nice with rice pilaf.