As I have mentioned before, I love Mediterranean food. This dish is one of my go-to’s in order to satisfy that craving for saucy, salty, bright flavors all served on a bed of delicious couscous. I only stumbled upon this recipe by chance. I was up early for work, so I flipped on Rachel Ray’s Week in a Day- a regular Monday morning staple for me. The entire premise of the show is recipes which can be made significantly ahead and reheated the day you want to serve without sacrificing quality. This is pretty much a teacher’s dream: I get a delicious meal AND I don’t have to cook after work- sign me up! On this particular morning, I had already been lamenting that I didn’t defrost something to cook for dinner that night and was begrudging my imminent trip to the grocery store when this gem came on. A mostly one-pot meal featuring ingredients I had already (minus the chicken) and it was going to satisfy a craving for Greek- double win!
Seriously, as complicated as this ingredient list/recipe may appear, it is SO SIMPLE. I was able to whip this up- start to finish-before I worked out in 30 minutes of downtime. Try it out- it is saucy, salty, savory, bright, rich but also light and makes a GREAT leftover and make-ahead meal.
Golden Chicken with Lemon and Olives
- Veggie base
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium onions, cut into quarters
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 cup of pitted olives (I use kalamata for the saltiness)
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Dash of cinnamon
- Salt and Pepper
- Prepare the veggies:
- In a large skillet (or cassoulet), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves. Season with salt and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Cover and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- While the veggies are covered, in a separate pan, heat the 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat.
- Brown the lemon slices in the butter.
- Remove the lid, and stir in the olives and browned lemon slices.
- Prepare the sauce:
- In the same skillet you browned the lemon in, add the next 3 tablespoons of butter and the lemon zest. Let cook/melt for 1 minute.
- Add the flour and cook 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and incorporate with the roux.
- Add the seasonings and let thicken for 2-3 minutes
- Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
- Combine the meal:
- Pour the sauce into the veggie mixture.
- Add the chicken breasts and mix to coat.
- Cover and cook on medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through (15-20 minutes)
This would be the point where you would want to cool and store the meal if you are making ahead. If serving that night, prepare your favorite brand and flavor of rice, couscous, or other grain to serve along with the delicious sauce.