Are you ready for the easiest and quickest dinner?
I SO am. As I alluded to in my last post, it’s been a doozy of a week. I’m just feeling run down and out of it. This allergy season is kicking my butt! It seems like I only get hit with seasonal allergies every other year. I’m not sure why that is, but this is an “on” allergy year for me…and it sucks. On top of having a lot of regular life stuff going on right now. I want to nap every day, and I never nap. Like, ever. I am totally an up-and-at-’em kind of girl in the mornings, and lately, the snooze button has been my best frenemy.
So, in line with these feelings/general mood, I’m all about the quick and easy meals right now. This one meets those requirements…and then some.
This chicken dish happens all in one pan. Score!
It uses staple ingredients. I almost always have all of these things on hand.
It is healthy. We’re talking low carb. Protein packed. Loaded with greens. Easily made gluten free.
And most importantly of all, it’s freaking yummy!
Thin chicken breasts get cooked in an easy sauce and topped off with healthy greens, tons of fresh citrus, and a glorious grating of buttery parmesan cheese. It’s a complete meal in one pan. Never underestimate the power of only having to wash one pan after a long day.
If you WANTED to, you could serve this alongside a grain or some roasted veggies or over some rice, but quite frankly, I don’t think it needs it. There is so much flavor going on here, and it can definitely stand alone without anything else bulking it up. I felt totally satisfied eating this chicken just as is. Dan, however, loved it over some rice. Personally, I’d rather eat my carbs in the form of cookies.
The thing I love about meals like this is how surprising they can be. Some nights, the very last thing I want to do is to cook dinner (yes, this even happens to those of us who truly love to cook). It’s usually because I’ve had a long day or week (like this one). Sometimes it’s because I’m just feeling lazy. Other times, it’s because I’m not in the mood for the meal planned.
When I will my way through the prep for dishes like this one, I find myself unwinding from the day. Focusing on the comfort of stirring things around in a pan and searing chicken until golden and delicious. I love the feeling of my knife rhythmically chopping through the ingredients and the aroma that wafts up from the pan. Lemon. Wine. Garlic. Chicken. Comfort. The finale of a snowy grating of parmesan cheese makes my smile, no matter how hard the day has been or how tired my feet are. I’m quickly reminded of why I love to cook. Especially when dinner tastes as good as this.
Before I know it, dinner is ready. Quick. Easy. And completely satisfying and soul soothing.
And a heck of a lot better for you than the cheese pizza you are two seconds from ordering!
4 chicken breasts, pounded thin (or you can buy the thin-sliced chicken breasts from the store)
Salt and pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
½ cup dry white wine (optional)
1 cup chicken stock (add another ½ cup if skipping the wine)
3 cups baby greens, such as spinach or arugula
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and then lightly dredge in the flour until evenly coated.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil and butter. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Set aside.
To the same pan, add the garlic, shallot, and wine (if you are skipping the wine, add ½ cup chicken stock here instead). Cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, for a couple minutes or until the wine (or stock) is mostly reduced.
Slowly stream in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the broth has thickened slightly and reduced by about half. Add in the greens and cream, stirring constantly to wilt the greens. Add in the lemon zest and juice and stir to combine.
Return the chicken to the pan, and turn to coat it in the pan sauce. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Garnish with herbs and a grating of parmesan cheese and serve while warm.