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Roasted Marjoram Chicken

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  1. 4 chicken breast halves, on the bone (about 1/2 pound each)
  2. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  3. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  4. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  5. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 1/3 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
  7. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped marjoram leaves
  8. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  9. 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  10. Buttered egg noodles, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper, then sprinkle all over with the paprika and cayenne.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat just until the skin is crisp, about 2 minutes; turn the breasts over. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the chicken for 25 minutes, or just until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the sunflower seeds over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. In a blender or food processor, blend the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil with the marjoram, parsley and lemon juice. Add the toasted sunflower seeds, season with salt and puree the sauce until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Set the chicken on plates and top with the sauce. Serve at once with buttered egg noodles.
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