Roasted Chicken with Beets and Lemon

My mom made up this recipe- she often just improvises with what she has on hand and it turns out delicious! The pan sauce is absolutely awesome- mop it up with some good, hearty bread and you will be in for a treat. The roasted lemon can and should be eaten (peel and all). I made her creation last night and also threw in a handful of peeled garlic cloves and the beet greens.

2 bone-in, skin on, whole chicken breasts
3 beets, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
1 lemon, quartered (try to take out the seeds if you can; they don’t taste good)
a handful of peeled garlic cloves
garlic powder
onion powder
spanish paprika
lemon pepper
(any seasoning you like can be added)
Preheat oven to 350ยบ
Season the chicken breasts with everything except the lemon pepper; brown them in a cast iron pan in about 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, turning them on their sides as well to get them browned all over (this took maybe 7 or 8 minutes). Off the heat, add the beets, greens and garlic; stir to coat with the EVOO and the drippings. Sprinkle a little salt over the beets and lemon pepper over the chicken breasts and the beets. Squeeze the lemon over everything and then throw those 4 pieces in the pan. Turn over the chicken breasts skin side down and cover the pan with foil (do this carefully so you don’t burn yourself). Bake for 35 minutes, remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. Take the chicken out of the pan and put the beets back in the oven uncovered for another 5 or 6 minutes, while the chicken is  resting. The beets will be a little firm but are absolutely delicious.

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