Now that the holidays are over, and all the excess that goes with them, this time of year, around my house we are always looking for meals that are faster and lighter. Because every January we’re busier and heavier.
This recipe for lemon chicken with Kalamata olives really fits the bill. The chicken is napped in a simple, light lemon sauce, then quickly broiled. I served it with Kalamata olives, which are my favorite. Steamed green beans and brown rice balanced out the plate.
Brown rice is one of those foods I know I should eat more often, but have a hard time doing it. Maybe it’s because brown rice and I have never gotten along. I can’t ever seem to cook it right! The rice either is undercooked and crunchy or overcooked and mushy.
I’ve tried everything: Cooking it on the stovetop, baking it in the oven like a pilaf, using my rice steamer, even microwaving it. Nothing works right.
For this meal, I thought I would try the crock pot. A few days earlier I cooked bulgur and lentils in the crock pot and they turned out great. Lentils and bulgur are sort of like rice, right?
Wrong! After two hours on low, the rice was still hard as pebbles. Apparently, the temperature was not hot enough for the stubborn little rice to absorb the liquid. So I transferred the whole thing to a pot, put it on the fire and simmered it for 50 minutes. The rice turned out better than it usually does, but was still not perfect. Man, I hate brown rice!
Lemon Chicken with Olives
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp EVOO
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and rough chop (or just sliced black olives)
4 thin slices of lemon
1. Turn oven to broil. Starting at the thickest edge of each chicken breast, cut horizontally almost to the opposite side, then open the cut chicken breast so it is an even thickness. This is a technique called “butterflying” and can be used to cook any meat — chicken, beef steaks, pork chops — faster, especially when broiling.
2. In a small bowl, mix oil and lemon juice. Dredge butterflied chicken breast in mixture then lay out on a sheet sprayed wit pan spray. Drizzle remaining mixture over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with 1/2 the lemon pepper and place on top rack of the oven so the chicken is about 4 inches from the broiler flame.
3. Broil for 5 minutes, flip chicken breast over, season the other side with the remaining lemon pepper, and return to the broiler for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken from broiler, arrange lemon slices and olives on top of chicken and return to broiler for another 2 minutes.
Is there a particular food that you have never been able to master? Share your story in the comments section below. And thanks for looking at my blog!