Lemon Chicken

Last week, I needed an easy chicken recipe that involved using ingredients already in my kitchen.  Enter: the easiest lemon chicken recipe ever:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons flour
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon butter

Directions:

Flatten chicken slightly. Dust with flour. Salt and pepper chicken.

Fry in hot oil 5 minutes each side. Remove chicken from pan.

To pan add broth, garlic, lemon juice and butter. Cook 2 minutes. Pour over chicken.

Lemon Chicken

Super easy and super delicious.  I paired this with a side of quinoa drizzled in balsamic vinegar for a quick and tasty weeknight dinner (with leftovers for the weekend :)).

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Lemon Balsamic Salad

This is a fun little salad that I threw together with some leftovers, including my last piece of Chicken Piccata.

1/2 head of romaine lettuce
1/2 avocado
piece of chicken breast
1 cup green beans
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

I topped it with a lemon balsamic vinaigrette dressing:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a thin stream.

Salad

Of course, the ingredient amounts can be altered, this is just what was leftover in my fridge.  It was quite tasty and healthy!

Chicken Piccata

I recently enjoyed Chicken Piccata in a restaurant, and decided to learn how to make it myself.

I first came across this recipe from Giada, and thought, yikes, that’s a lot of butter.  There must be a healthier version.  And there is!

6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 chicken cutlets, (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover and keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.

Chicken Piccata

I used two chicken breasts, cut up into small pieces.  As the leftovers marinated in the fridge over the next few days, they actually ended up tasting better and better.

This recipe was not difficult, but all of the steps made it take longer than it should have.  Also, I learned what “dredging” means (why does cooking require a whole new language?  Why can’t they just say “coat”?).  I also added lemon pepper to the dredging mixture.

Overall, the meal was pretty good, but the sauce wasn’t as thick as I would have liked.  Maybe next time I will add a smidge more butter…

Chicken Piccata with Penne

Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Sorry for the delay in posting — I actually cooked this on Sunday, but haven’t gotten around to writing about it until today.

For New Year’s Eve, I decided to make Buffalo Chicken Dip and needed to buy chicken (it doesn’t really count as a “new” recipe since it was first cooked last year, but I’m planning on making it again for the Superbowl and will write about it then as a “bonus” post).  I noticed huge packages of chicken thighs for $1.49 a pound.  What a deal!  How could it be so cheap? I picked up a package that weighed about 5 pounds.

After arriving home, I soon realized why they were so cheap — they were bone-in, skin-on.  Well, I’d find a use for them in addition to the dip.  I Googled “bone-in chicken thigh recipes” and came upon this easy recipe from Giada:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces (giblets, neck and backbone reserved for another use)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Combine the vinaigrette and chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag; seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from the bag and arrange the chicken pieces on a large greased baking dish. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 hour. If your chicken browns too quickly, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Place the baking dish on a burner over medium-low heat. Whisk the chicken broth into the pan drippings, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the baking sheet with a wooden spoon and mixing them into the broth and pan drippings. Drizzle the pan drippings over the chicken. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley over the chicken, and serve.

Chicken

The photo doesn’t really do the chicken justice…

I used seven chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), marinated for two hours.  Next time, I will see what happens when they marinate longer.  I cooked them in a Pyrex baking dish, but moved them to a frying pan when it came time to drizzle the pan drippings mixture on top.

My tweaks:

  • I did not use lemon zest since I do not own a zester (one has since been added to my Amazon wish list.  Side note:  Amazon Prime is super dangerous).  Not sure how much of a difference it would have made.
  • I used 1/2 cup of white wine instead of chicken broth (and drank it while eating this chicken :))

The chicken was quite tasty, and pairs nicely with white rice or quinoa.