Monday, April 15, 2013

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Garlicky Quinoa

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Garlicky Quinoa

This chicken and quinoa is absolutely PACKED with flavor.  Lemon, garlic, and thyme are a great mix of flavors that in this dish taste both light and rich.  This meal tasted gourmet, but didn't require that many ingredients and was actually relatively quick to make.

Quinoa and minced garlic are toasted in some olive oil and then cooked in broth.  While the quinoa is cooking, the chicken is pounded and cooked in the skillet, and then a quick sauce is made from lots of garlic and thyme, white wine, broth, lemon juice, and a bit of butter.  The sauce is where the flavor really comes in!  And the small amount of butter really helps to make the sauce taste rich.

We had the chicken and quinoa with a big salad.  You could of course replace the quinoa with another grain or cut it out completely.  This will be a great refreshing meal to have throughout the warmer months!

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Garlicky Quinoa

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Garlicky Quinoa

serves: 4


For the Garlicky Quinoa:
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (any variety)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • zest from 1/2 a lemon (use other lemon half for chicken, below)
  • salt + pepper

For the Lemon Thyme Chicken:
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast, divided into four sections and pounded relatively thin
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • zest from 1/2 a lemon (use other lemon half for quinoa, above)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • juice from 1 lemon (same lemon the zest came from!)
  • 4 teaspoons butter


1)  Start the quinoa:  In small saucepan over medium heat, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Add garlic and quinoa and stir to combine.  Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn heat to low and cover.  Let cook for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, remove cover and check to make sure all the broth has been absorbed (keep cooking if not!).  Remove from heat and let stand.  Before serving, fluff with a fork and stir in lemon zest and salt + pepper to taste.

2)  Meanwhile, while quinoa is cooking, prepare chicken:  Season each of the four pieces of chicken with salt and pepper.    Put flour in a small bowl.  Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and then shake off the excess flour.

3)  Heat 1 of tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once shimmering, add chicken (you might need to do this in two batches) and cook until golden brown and internal temperature is 160F, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove chicken from pan to a plate and cover with foil.

4)  To make the sauce:  Add garlic, thyme, and lemon zest to the pan that cooked the chicken (add additional olive oil if necessary).  Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.  Off heat, add the white wine and stir to combine, scraping any browned bits off the bottom.  Return to heat and add broth.  Bring to a boil and let simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes.  Add lemon juice and butter and whisk to combine.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

5)  Once the sauce is done, serve the chicken over the quinoa and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

(Lemon Thyme Chicken recipe adapted from Annie's Eats)

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