I don’t really know if this dish is particularly Scandinavian, but to me it tastes like Danish summer on a plate. I always make my lemon chicken with locally grown produce, so I think it counts as a Danish dish.
I love the combination of chicken and lemon especially combined with all the freshest summer vegetables you can find. You can vary the greens according to what is in season and what you most fancy, but the chicken is mandatory and in my opinion it has to be organic or at the very least free range – in a dish as simple as this a good quality chicken is essential. I will not hide the fact that I am very much in favour of organic produce – both because I like to know that the animals I prepare and eat have been treated well, have felt the sunshine and have not been force fed antibiotics, and also because organic produce usually taste better.
Serves two hungry people
Two whole (organic) chicken thighs skin on
1 large tablespoon wholegrain mustard
300g green asparagus
8 freshly harvested thin carrots
A couple of handfuls of newly shelled peas
A couple of handfuls of sun-ripe tomatoes
1dl white wine
Lots of fresh basil
Olie for frying
Start by preparing the vegetables. Bend the asparagus until the wooden ends break off and cut the spears into chunks. Clean the carrots and cut them in half on the long side if they are not quite thin, but don’t peel them if they are fresh and delicious – and organic. Shell the peas and give the tomatoes a good rinse.
Divide the chicken thighs into upper and lower thighs. Mix together mustard, salt, pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice and pour over the chicken.
Heat a glug of oil in a good sized frying pan that can survive a trip in your oven. Brown the chicken thoroughly and add the carrots. Take the pan of the heat and squeeze in the juice of 1 or 2 lemons depending on how lemony you like your dish to be.
Put the frying pan in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
After 10 minutes add the asparagus and the white wine and give it another 15 minutes. After 25 minutes in the oven in total add the tomatoes and give it 10 more minutes. The chicken should be about ready after 35-40 minutes. Mix in the peas and the basil the last 3-4 minutes of the cooking time.
Serve the dish as it is and don’t forget to pour over the lovely lemony juice from the bottom of the pan – or serve with new boiled potatoes, pearl barley or a nice crispy green salad.