This recipe is to. die. for. The chicken is so flavorful and tender, and the lemon salsa is the perfect compliment. The marinade for the chicken is simple yet the flavors are outstanding – yogurt, cilantro, garlic, fennel seed, and turmeric. The key to the lemon salsa is using Meyer lemons. They are sweeter, more aromatic, and less tart than regular lemons. Meyer lemons are only available in the Northeast for a short period of time; when I see them at the markets I buy a ton of them at a time (moderation is not my middle name), and pray the season lasts as long as possible. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, just use one regular lemon, and don’t forget to add a pinch of sugar to the salsa.
This recipe serves only 2 people, so feel free to double the chicken and marinade, but you probably don’t need to double the salsa. I served this with Basmati rice that I toasted slightly in coconut oil before adding the water, and then finished it off with chopped cilantro, scallions, and a squeeze of (Meyer) lemon juice.
- 2-3 Meyer lemons
- 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
- 2 scallions sliced thinly, 1 tblsp set aside
- 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
- pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper
- 4 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
- 1 tblsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds lightly toasted and ground
- 1 tsp tumeric
Place chicken in a dish and season with salt and pepper. In a mini food-processor or blender, combine 1/4 cup cilantro, yogurt, vegetable oil, garlic, ground fennel seeds, and turmeric. Pour marinade over chicken, coating well. Marinate for at least one hour, up to 12 hours. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before cooking.
Using a pairing knife, cut all peel and white pith from lemons; discard. Working over a small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl; squeeze in juice from membranes and discard membranes. Strain juice into another bowl.
Combine segments, 1 Tbsp. strained lemon juice, cucumber, 2 Tbsp. scallions, and jalapeño in a small bowl; mix well. Stir in sugar; season salsa with salt and set aside.
Preheat broiler. Place chicken onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, watching closely to prevent burning, until browned, about 10-12 minutes. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and finish cooking in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to plates, and spoon Meyer lemon salsa over chicken. Garnish with remaining 1 Tbsp. scallions.