My favorite meals to prepare are low maintenance but full of flavor and nutritious ingredients. Chicken is a staple in our house, and this recipe is one that I keep in frequent rotation. It meets the criteria of my favorites, a healthy chicken recipe, and is a crowd-pleaser.
This recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs which end up super tender, but I also make it with chicken breasts.
If you use chicken breasts instead of thighs, here are my suggestions:
- Pound chicken breasts into an even thickness with a meat tenderizer before marinating. This will help it the breasts to cook evenly without becoming dry.
- I can usually stretch the current recipe to marinade four breasts, but you may want to double it.
- When ready to cook the chicken breasts, heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side, or until well browned and cooked until no longer pink (use a meat thermometer to confirm that the chicken is heated through to 165°F). The chicken should have enough oil coating from the marinade to not require any extra to the skillet but add if needed.
Chicken is often paired with white rice. While it is tasty, white rice is also a starchy, refined grain that is high in carbs. A healthier alternative, I’m including a simple cauliflower rice recipe. If you want to tie in the flavors of the chicken, you can also add lime (1 lime, juice and even some zest) and chopped cilantro (1/4 cup) to the cauli-rice as well.
Total Time: 0:55 Level: Easy
Prep: 0:05 Yield: 4 servings
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 c. Chopped cilantro
- Juice of 2 limes
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- cooked white rice or cauliflower rice, for serving
- Prepare marinade: Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, red pepper flakes, garlic, and cumin. Add chicken and toss to evenly coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- After the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Pour olive oil into a large oven-proof skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Season both sides of marinated chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken skin-side down and pour in the marinade. Sear until the skin becomes golden and crispy, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs and cook for 2 minutes more. (Chicken should not yet be cooked through).
- Turn off the heat and transfer pan into hot oven; bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes more.
- Serve with white rice or riced cauliflower and drizzle with extra pan drippings.
- 5 cups of raw cauliflower, approximately 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 3 Tbsp ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small diced yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut raw cauliflower into florets and shred them in a food processor with a grating blade. Don’t overcrowd the food processor, and hand chop any over-sized pieces. You may also use the large holes on a box grater. Either way, shred until it resembles rice-sized pieces.
- In a large skillet, wok or frying pan over medium heat, melt ghee or heat olive oil. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Be careful to not let the garlic burn.
- Add cauliflower rice and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in vegetable broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
- Serve warm. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime juice if desired.
You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.JULIA CHILDS