Herbs add tasty kick to chicken

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An assortment of fresh herbs ready and waiting in the refrigerator somehow makes us more creative cooks.

Lemon-Herb Chicken with Yogurt Dill Sauce  Relish/Special
Relish/Special
Lemon-Herb Chicken with Yogurt Dill Sauce

Keeping in mind that, with few exceptions, herbs are meant to enhance the flavor of food, we're careful not to overdo them. We toss a few tablespoons of chopped mint into leafy salads, sprinkle snipped dill over sliced tomatoes and stir basil leaves into vegetable soup just before it's ready to come off the stove.

For our lemon-herb chicken, we simplified what could have been a complicated recipe to make a marvelous dish that features fresh herbs. We coat the chicken parts with a mixture of garlic, lemon and three of our favorite herbs: basil, dill and mint.

The chicken is arranged on a baking sheet, popped into the oven and baked for less than an hour. With a no-fuss yogurt-dill sauce and a side of rice, lemon-herb chicken is proof of the power of fresh herbs.

LEMON-HERB CHICKEN WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE

Yogurt dill sauce:

1 cups plain nonfat yogurt

1 garlic clove, finely minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

teaspoon salt

Chicken:

1 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

Grated zest and juice from 1 lemon

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 2 1/2pounds)

4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges

To prepare the sauce, drain yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth for 2 hours or overnight. Transfer to a bowl and stir in garlic, olive oil, dill, lemon juice and salt.

To prepare the chicken, heat oven to 450. Coat a large wire rack and shallow baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine basil, mint, dill, oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Add chicken; toss well to coat. Arrange chicken in a single layer on baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast chicken breasts 30 to 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees. Roast thighs 35 to 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 180 degrees. Serve immediately or at room temperature, accompanied by lemon wedges and yogurt dill sauce.

Serves 6

(Recipe by Marge Perry.)

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 340 calories, 21 grams fat, 32 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 600 milligrams sodium.

Look for Relish Magazine, celebrating America's love of food, each month in The Augusta Chronicle. For more Relish recipes, to sign up for our biweekly newsletter, or to leave us a note on our message boards, log on to www.relishmag.com.


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