Recently I’ve learned that I have some haters out there. And, surprisingly, most of the haters are my friends and colleagues! Why, you may ask? Apparently, they’re jealous of the things that come out of my kitchen and envy what they think is the hours I have to produce tasty, healthy meals. To win back some love, I’ll let you in on a secret: not everything that’s delicious is difficult or time consuming, and to prove it, I’m writing this post. This is actually so simple that below you’ll find TWO recipes that you can make together or separately, and I promise the prep won’t require you to spend more than 15-20 minutes in the kitchen. In fact, if it wasn’t for the knives involved, you could probably make these chicken and rice dishes with your eyes closed! I feel like in a previous life I was a participant in this infomercial for the Showtime “Set It and Forget It” Rotisserie.
The chicken recipe below is for 4 chicken breasts, but it can be easily scaled to make 6, 8, 10 or however many mouths you have to feed. The marinade for this is not an exact science. I’ve made this many times before and had to tweak it slightly this time because I was out of regular balsamic vinegar, so I included the variation I used below, but feel free to use balsamic vinegar instead. Normally I also make whatever veggie I have separately (usually the green beans go into the toaster oven on convection for 15-20 minutes sprayed lightly with olive oil and topped with finishing salts), but to make even the cleanup on this one easy, I made it all in a cast iron skillet at once. The rice is also a one – saucepan recipe. My sous chef slash dishwasher, aka my husband, loves when I make those! (Love you darling!)
This chicken recipe actually converts really well into chicken salad- either chop the cold chicken up into small pieces or pulse it a few quick times in a food processor, throw in some of the tomatoes that you’ve already cooked and a spoonful of the leftover marinade and a bit of mayonnaise, and you have a delicious lunch that doesn’t taste like leftovers.
Have any easy, one pot recipes? Share them in the comments section below.
Haters, this one’s for you!
Tomato Balsamic Chicken and Lentil Rice Pilaf
FOR THE CHICKEN:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 – 20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
1 tbsp + 1 tsp balsamic glaze, separated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp raspberry balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic)
1/4 tsp italiano seasoning
dash salt & pepper
FOR THE PILAF:
1/2 cup green lentils
1 cup rice (I used a mix of brown and wild rice)
3 3/4 cups water
2 tsp onion soup mix
1 tsp consomme
pinch garlic powder
3/4 – 1 cup frozen mixed veggies (I used a carrot, pea, corn and legume mix)
- Preheat oven to 375. Clean chicken (rinse and remove excess fat), and place in a cast iron skillet. In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes and 1 tsp balsamic glaze. Spoon over chicken.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining balsamic glaze, the raspberry balsamic vinegar, the olive oil, italiano seasoning and salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken and tomatoes, and put skillet in the oven. If you’re making veggies, throw them in with the chicken just before pouring the marinade over the meat. Set your oven timer for 40 minutes, and forget it! (You may need to alter cooking time by +/- 5’ish minutes, depending on your oven).
- In the meantime, throw all ingredients for the pilaf EXCEPT FOR the frozen veggies into a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 35 minutes, fluffing with a fork once or twice to ensure rice isn’t sticking.
- Just before all the water is absorbed, throw in the frozen veggies and stir to combine. Return lid, and let simmer until water is absorbed, then remove from heat.