Lemon Chicken with Garlicky Green Beans

chicken-beans_300

Not my photography, obviously.
Credit, Real Simple magazine.

I’ll get to that lovely chicken dish in a moment, but first, some words about my photography skills, or lack thereof. See Exhibit A.

Exhibit A

gnocchi

Sorry gnocchi. You’re better than this.

Farabella is a fantastic brand of pasta that comes from Italy (bonus) and has many gluten free options, including the sadly photographed gnocchi above (recipe for the sauce coming soon). It’s unfortunate that I have yet to capture it  properly. Sigh. Maybe one day I’ll make it for lunch on a sunny day and you can see it in all its glory.

Until then, there’s this utilitarian but super tasty one pot dinner…

Lemon Chicken with Garlicky Green Beans and Red Potatoes

What it looks like at my house. On a very fancy paper plate.

Looks can be deceiving. Don’t judge. Please.

This is an old standby that I’ve been using ever since I cut out the recipe from Real Simple magazine more than a decade ago. It’s a keeper, clearly. Chicken breasts rest atop lemon slices, all tucked in with green beans and red potatoes, swirled with olive oil and lots of garlic. All it takes is a cutting board, one big bowl for tossing, a serving dish, and voila! I am a sucker for a good one pot (or dish) meal.

The original recipe uses bone-in chicken breasts, but lately I’ve been making it with boneless breasts, which cooks up faster, and is still very juicy. Something magical happens to the lemon slices on the bottom when they get all caramelized and sticky. Yum.

Lemon Chicken with Garlicky Green Beans, slightly adapted from Real Simple, whose food photography is just a hair better than mine (ha)

Yes, using 2x because it's that pretty.

Yes, using 2x because it’s that pretty.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound trimmed green beans
  • about 8 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless, or bone-in with skin, about 3 1/4 lbs)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F for boneless, 450°F for bone-in. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.

2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the edges of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up (if bone-in), in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

My husband begged me not to post raw chicken pics, but this may help you with arrangement.

My husband begged me not to post raw chicken pics, but this may help you with arrangement.

3. Roast for about 40 minutes for boneless breasts, 50 minutes for bone-in. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet, after checking first that it is cooked through. Then place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender.

4. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally.

Enjoy! We do. And then make someone else do the dishes. Even one pot meals add up.

Do you have any fabulous one pot meals? If so, please share! I could use a few more. 

Gluten Free Fried Rice, Free Style

fried rice in bowl revised

If you know me from my rants on this blog, you know my family is picky (as hell), but there happens to be ONE (okay, fine, two) meals that we ALL enjoy. Besides pizza, I mean. And this fried rice dish is one of them. Even Little Guy ate some, though to be honest he seemed to enjoy the carrots most of all. Note to self, cook the kid some carrots. Second note to self, consider covering entire kitchen floor with a plastic sheet before any meal with rice and two kids. Enough said.

This meal makes my people happy, but more importantly it makes ME happy to only cook one dinner. The other night I slaved over this delicious lemony pasta dish only to have Bunky turn her nose at it. I made her wait until I finished eating my bowl before making her dinner #2 which turned out to be a grilled cheese that I burned on one side because I was so annoyed and in a rush. Lucky for her she ate it cause I was not making another. That’s right, I run a tight ship around here. (Yeah, right.)

The great thing about this meal is that IF you can think ahead – and sometimes I actually can – cooking the rice earlier in the day makes it come together pretty quickly. Bonus, if you can cook the chicken or tofu ahead of time, or use leftover chicken, even faster. In my home, I consider it a raging success if I can make dinner within one 20 minute show on Netflix. (Recently, it’s been Horseland, which sounds more tolerable than it actually is. A bunch of Bratz-ish looking hot girls who ride horses and often act catty. Oh, I am nostalgic for the sweet days of Little Bear, sigh.)

Don’t have zucchini or don’t like it? Skip it. Do you find peas and carrots to be a rather banal veggie combo? No problem. Free style it, people. Use what you like and/or what you have. Frozen veggies are awesome because you don’t have to chop or thaw or anything. Just toss right into your hot skillet.

The less work for me, the better. Time is money, right? Or in my case, time is just time and the less of it I spend slaving over a hot stove while kids are screaming and crying in the background the better. Ah, domestic bliss! Well, sometimes, it is.

Thank goodness there are two kits.

Fortunately there are two kits.

Gluten Free Fried Rice, Free Style

Ingredients: 

  • 4 tsps canola or vegetable oil divided in half (plus more just in case)
  • 1/4 medium onion diced (not for us, alas, but you can!)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb chicken breasts or tofu, cubed (this is optional and totally your call)
  • 1 zucchini or summer squash diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, or any mixed veggie you like! free style it
  • 1/2 cup corn (or not – I opted out because of my picky husband)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger
  • approximately 3 cups of cooked brown rice cooled*
  • 3 tablespoons of gluten free tamari or soy sauce (we use San-J)
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • iceberg lettuce if you want to serve in lettuce cups/wraps

Directions:

* Cook rice ahead of time and store in fridge to get it cold. I cooked 1.5 cups of long grain brown rice in my rice cooker with 3 cups of water + 1.5 tablespoons of water an hour or so before starting this meal. Fried rice is best prepared with rice that is nicely chilled, similar to white wine, which you should also totally have.

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium. [Skip to step 2 if you are not using chicken or tofu.] Add diced chicken or tofu and cook until it is cooked through, for chicken, or browned the way you like it, tofu. Remove meat or tofu and set aside in a large serving bowl.

Often, I dice up the chicken into small pieces after cooking. Easier that way.

fried rice prep

Food prep with our over the counter drug stash in the background.

2. Lower temperature to medium low and add onion (if using) and squash to the skillet. If necessary, add another teaspoon of oil. Saute until onions become translucent, then add garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

If you’re NOT using onions, then saute the squash in oil for about 3 minutes BEFORE adding the garlic. Then add garlic for another minute or so until fragrant. You really don’t want to burn garlic, as it is a total buzz kill and smells awful.

3. Add frozen veggies – peas, carrots, corn, or your choice – to the squash and possible onion/garlic mixture. Continue sauteing until frozen veggies are completely thawed and hot.

fried rice in skillet upgraded

Once cooked, remove veggies and add them to the bowl with chicken or tofu.

4. Add remaining oil, or another 2 teaspoons if you used it all, and then turn heat to medium high. Add the brown rice to the skillet and stir frequently until all the rice is heated through.

5. Return meat/tofu and veggies back to the skillet as well as the 3 tablespoons of tamari. Stir everything until it is well combined. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cilantro. Or not if you forgot to buy cilantro and your kid has an aversion to pieces of added green stuff.

An aerial shot of fried rice on a finger painted paper plate. Fancy, right?

Aerial shot of fried rice on a finger painted paper plate. Fancy, I know.

Serve in bowls or use iceberg lettuce cups/wraps.

Taken by phone while both children screaming.

Taken by phone while both children screaming.

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mamma. Click the link to find more great GF recipes!

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