Lemon Chicken Skillet – Fit Foodie Finds

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This Lemon Chicken Skillet is seasoned with delicious spices, seared and then cooked with couscous and broccolini for a flavorful one-pot meal.

Lemon chicken skillet topped with goat cheese.

Go-To Weeknight Meal

This lemon chicken skillet is one of my go-to weeknight meals! Clean-up is easy, my toddler loves it, and it’s packed with amazing flavor. Plus, it will feed the whole family. What could be better?!

Why you’ll love it!

One-pot meal = easy clean-up!

Easy ingredient substitutions if you don’t have everything on hand.

Ready in 45 minutes!

Feeds a crowd.

Lemon chicken marinade in a bowl.

Lemon Chicken Skillet Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs + marinade: You’ll start this recipe by marinating the chicken thighs in this amazing lemon chicken marinade with Dijon mustard, honey, smoked paprika, dried dill, white onion, garlic cloves, and olive oil.
  • Israeli couscous: We love making this chicken skillet with couscous, but have tested it with orzo and it works great, too!
  • Lemon: Can’t have a lemon chicken without the lemon! We’re using both lemon slices and fresh lemon juice.
  • Chicken broth + white wine: The bright flavor of the white wine pairs nicely with this dish! Chicken broth will also add great flavor while providing the liquid the couscous needs to cook.
  • Broccolini: Don’t skip the veg! Broccolini pairs nicely with this dish, but broccoli or asparagus are great alternatives, too.
  • Butter: Trust us on the butter. It adds amazing flavor to this skillet.
  • Crumbled goat cheese: You’ll garnish your chicken skillet with crumbled goat cheese right before serving.
Chicken thighs marinating in a bowl.

Recommended Kitchen Tools

Check out our recommended kitchen tools for whipping up this lemon chicken skillet!

How to Make Lemon Chicken Skillet

Preheat oven + prepare chicken marinade

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Combine dijon mustard, honey, smoked paprika, dried dill, white onion, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl (large enough to marinate chicken thighs) and stir. Add chicken thighs and toss to combine, and let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Sear chicken thighs

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large, oven-safe skillet and heat over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the chicken thighs and the remaining marinade and sear on each side for 3-5 minutes. For the last minute of searing, add the butter and lemon slices to the skillet.

Toast Couscous

Remove chicken and lemon slices from the skillet, and add dried couscous, and cook until toasted, about 2-4 minutes.

Deglaze the pan + Add broccolini

Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Use a wooden utensil to scrape the brown bits from the bottom. Then, bring to a boil and add the chicken broth, lemon juice and broccolini.

Add chicken thighs back to skillet

Add chicken thighs and lemon slices back to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. 

Bake Chicken Skillet

Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF – 165ºF.

Let rest + enjoy!

Remove from the skillet from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow any liquid that is left over to absorb into the couscous. Fluff the couscous and top with fresh dill and crumbled goat cheese.

Chicken thighs in a skillet with lemon slices.

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Easy Ingredient Swaps

Make this lemon chicken skillet your own by subbing out any of the following ingredients 1:1 for the recommended swap:

Bone-in chicken thighs –> Boneless chicken thighs

White wine –> Chicken broth + lemon juice

Pearl couscous –> Orzo

Broccolini –> Broccoli florets, peas or asparagus

Broccolini in a cast iron skillet.

Lemon Chicken Skillet Top Tips

Don’t Skip the Sear: It’s important to sear the chicken so it is browned at the beginning. Have no fear, the chicken will continue to cook in the delicious sauce later. 

White Wine Substitutions: If you’re looking to replace the wine, feel free to use chicken broth and a bit of lemon juice to emulate the bright flavor of white wine.

Using Other Cuts of Chicken: Feel free to substitute the chicken thighs for either boneless chicken thighs or breasts. Be mindful that this will alter the cook time, and base the doneness on internal temperature of the chicken by using a meat thermometer.

Lemon chicken skillet with couscous and broccolini.

Storage

Let the lemon chicken cool completely. Then, transfer it into a large airtight container. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days.

If you’re planning to freeze this lemon chicken skillet, we recommend cooking it all the way through first and then freezing it. Wait to add the crumbled goat cheese til after you reheat it.

To thaw & reheat: let the lemon chicken thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, bake in a covered dish at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes or until warm in the middle. The cook time will depend on the amount of lemon chicken you are reheating.

Lemon chicken skillet on a plate with broccolini and couscous.
Lemon chicken skillet.

Lemon Chicken Skillet

This Lemon Chicken Skillet is equal parts bright and savory. It’s made completely in a cast iron skillet with broccolini and couscous. Enjoy!

Prep:30 minutes

Cook:15 minutes

Total:45 minutes

Fat 31

Carbs 27

Protein 25

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ large white onion minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil separated
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on
  • 1.25 cups Israeli couscous dried
  • 1 medium lemon sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine we used sauvignon blanc
  • 8 oz. broccolini
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • cup goat cheese crumbled

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  • Combine dijon mustard, honey, smoked paprika, dried dill, white onion, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl (large enough to marinate chicken thighs) and stir.

  • Add chicken thighs and toss to combine. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large, oven-safe skillet and heat over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the chicken thighs and the remaining marinade and sear on each side for 3-5 minutes.

  • For the last minute of searing, add the butter and lemon slices to the skillet.

  • Remove chicken and lemon slices from the skillet, and add dried couscous, and cook until toasted, about 2-4 minutes.

  • Add the white wine and deglaze the pan. Use a wooden utensil to scrape the brown bits from the bottom. Then, bring to a boil.

  • Add the chicken broth, lemon juice and broccolini and bring to a boil.

  • Add chicken thighs and lemon slices back to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.

  • Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF – 165ºF.

  • Remove from the skillet from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow any liquid that is left over to absorb into the couscous.

  • Fluff the couscous and top with fresh dill and crumbled goat cheese.

Tips & Notes

  • We’ve tried this recipe with orzo, it also works great. 
  • If you use boneless chicken thighs, the cook time may be less. Make sure to monitor the internal temperature. 
  • If you don’t have broccolini, feel free to use broccoli or a cup of chopped kale.

Nutrition facts

Calories: 500kcal Carbohydrates: 27g Protein: 25g Fat: 31g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.



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