Steven Redzikowski’s Recipe for Lemon Rubbed Chicken With Asparagus and Mushrooms
This recipe from Colorado chef Steven Redzikowski pairs lemony chicken thighs roasted to a crisp with a salad of wild mushrooms, asparagus and peppery watercress
By Kitty Greenwald in the Wall Street Journal
THOUGH STEVEN REDZIKOWSKI had worked with his business partner and beverage director, Bryan Dayton, before they opened OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder, Colo., it was the restaurant space’s firepower that really brought them together.
“One day Bryan called and told me about this place,” said Mr. Redzikowski. “When I saw the huge wood-burning grill I was like, ‘Yeah, this is what I want to do.’ ”
Before Acorn, the chef paid his dues in fine-dining restaurants where the food was, he said, “not what I wanted to eat on a day off.” The wood-fired grill compelled him to cook simple, rustic dishes composed of fresh, boldly seasoned ingredients.
This recipe for crisped lemon chicken with a roasted asparagus and mushroom salad, Mr. Redzikowski’s third Slow Food Fast contribution, epitomizes that approach. It’s the kind of easy-to-fall-for dish that earned him a James Beard nomination this year, too.
The chicken thighs, first rubbed with chopped lemons and parsley, roast until their skin crisps and caramelizes. “I roast the chicken at a high heat so it gets extra crispy. You want it to really crackle,” said Mr. Redzikowski. Dark and succulent, the meat takes well to the acidic rub and makes an addictive combination with the salad served alongside it, a mix of meaty morels and asparagus tossed with peppery watercress and fresh oregano.
With just the right combination of comfort, rib-sticking substance and bold, punchy flavor, this is precisely the sort of dish you’d want to eat on a day off—or any day.
Lemon Rubbed Chicken With Asparagus and Mushrooms
Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4
- ½ lemon, seeded and finely chopped, plus juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
- ½ pound asparagus, trimmed
- 2 cups morels or other wild mushrooms (about ½ pound), cleaned, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
- Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary
- ½ teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 cups watercress
- 1 tablespoon oregano, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place one oven rack on top and another in the middle.
2. Make lemon marinade: In a medium bowl, combine chopped lemon, parsley and ½ tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place chicken, skin-side down, on a baking sheet, and rub all over with marinade. Roast chicken on oven’s floor until skin has browned, 10-15 minutes. Flip chicken, transfer to top rack and roast until meat cooks through, about 15 minutes more.
4. Meanwhile, on another baking sheet, toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. On a third baking sheet, toss mushrooms with rosemary, thyme and a pinch of salt. Top with butter, dividing evenly among mushrooms.
5. Roast asparagus and mushrooms on center rack until fork tender and lightly blistered, about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven. Once asparagus is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces.
6. In a large mixing bowl, toss asparagus, mushrooms and their roasting juices with watercress. Season salad lightly with remaining oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Serve roasted chicken alongside asparagus-mushroom salad.