During the last 20 minutes of each work day, I’m usually thinking up a dish that I can whip up quickly for dinner when I get home. Last night I knew I had some chicken breast in the freezer and was about stop by Publix on the way home from work to pick up some potatoes and green beans when I remembered that there’d been an unopened bag of quinoa sitting lonely in my pantry for the last three months. I also knew I had some produce left in my fridge, so I decided to save my time and experiment with what I had in the house. After all, at the end of a 10 hour day the last thing I want to do is stand in line at a grocery store, so I just had to make it work.
When I got home and opened the refrigerator, it was like I found gold: A half bag of brussel sprouts and a couple of plump cherry tomatoes stared up at me, and I knew they’d be great for this chicken dish.
Once I found and prepped my ingredients, I got right to work with searing my chicken.
After searing both sides to a nice golden brown, you’ll remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Next, you’ll saute the Brussels sprouts in the pan for 2-3 minutes and then add the chicken back in.
The next step is to add the quinoa, chicken broth, and cherry tomatoes and bring to a boil. Once the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa.
And that’s all it takes! At this point, you can either squeeze a fresh lemon over top or serve as is.
By 7 pm, (I get home around 6 and move a bit slowly in the kitchen) I had a beautifully aromatic meal made for my boyfriend and me with fewer calories than it would have had with the potatoes I almost went out of my way to buy!
- 2 chicken breasts, thawed
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1 ts salt & pepper, additional to taste
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup brussel sprouts, cleaned and halved
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 C tri-colored quinoa, rinsed
- 1 C chicken broth
- 2 Tb butter (optional)
- 1 half lemon, optional
- On a cutting board, slice the onion and halve the brussel sprouts and tomatoes.
- Gently slide the needles off of one spring of rosemary and chop them. Save the rest for later.
- Peel and smash the garlic, (I like to use the butt of my wooden spoon for this.)
- In a colander, rinse the quinoa to clean off any loose particles.
- Put your medium-sized frying pan over medium/high heat.
- Drizzle two Tb of olive oil in the pan and wait for it to heat up.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of your chicken breasts, and then rub them with the chopped rosemary
- Place chicken breasts into the hot pan, searing on each side for 2-3 minutes.
- While your chicken is searing, add in the onions, garlic, remaining rosemary sprigs, and 2 Tb of butter (optional).
- Once the chicken has seared on both sides, remove and set aside.
- Add your brussel sprouts to the pan to saute for 2-3 minutes and mix with the onions.
- Place your chicken back in the pan over the onions and brussels, and pour in the quinoa and chicken broth.
- At this time, salt and pepper the quinoa, and set the cherry tomatoes, sliced side down, on top of the quinoa mixture
- Bring food to a boil, uncovered, then cover and lower heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and the chicken has cooked fully through.
- Now you're ready to eat!
- To make this dish unique, I like to squeeze a fresh lemon over top in the last 2 minutes of cooking time. My boyfriend doesn't like citrus that much, but he really likes it in this dish!