A simple, healthy meal that tastes delicious. Isn't that kinda what we're going for each time we put something on the dinner table? I mean, sure, I'm an Italian-American foodie so I like to indulge in the comfort foods and Italian favorites that have been passed down and are just too good to pass up. But feeding a family of four each night, you gotta kinda stay health conscious too.
I mean, can't be having Pasta al Forno with Italian Meat Sauce or Shrimp Oreganata every night. Wouldn't be able to call myself 'The Skinny Guinea' anymore! This healthy Lemon Garlic Chicken is that just the thing you need to break it up a bit and enjoy a great meal, while keeping things healthy!
Thin slicked chicken breast, crunchy broccoli, lemon, herbs and spices, and garlic. Cook it up and toss it around like a little rag doll to create a delicious, easy to cook dinner in a pinch.
Ingredients for Healthy Lemon Garlic Chicken
Simple ingredients, simple dish.
How to cook it
Step 1 - Cook the chicken. Heat some oil in a skillet or fry pan. Once the oil is hot, add some halved garlic just to flavor the oil. After about 30 seconds, add your sliced chicken. Cook through and remove when finished. Set aside.
Step 2 - Deglaze. Add the lemon juice, allow to simmer, and scrap up all those goody, juicy, flavorful bits of chicken on the bottom of the pan.
Step 3 - Make the sauce. After the pan is deglazed, add the broth, thyme, and a touch of crushed red pepper (optional). Allow to cook for a few minutes to bring all the flavors together. The halved garlic served its purpose up to this point, so feel free to remove it from the pan if you don't want chunks of garlic in your final dish.
Step 4 - Cook the broccoli. Add the broccoli to the pan. If you like your broccoli more on the softer side, cover with a lid. Otherwise, just cook and stir occasionally until it reaches your desired tenderness.
Step 5 - Finish up! Add your chicken back in. Season with some salt and pepper as needed and dig in!
Tips, Tricks, FAQs
There's no written rule that you have to use chicken breasts, but they are best because of how evenly you can cut the strips of chicken. Even strips means even cook times. If you don't want to use strips of chicken, have at it and use chicken thighs. You will have to adjust your cook time though, which will vary depending if you're using boneless thighs or bone-in.
You'll have a good amount of garlicky, lemony sauce so something to absorb all that is best. I love doing this over a side of riced cauliflower cooked in olive oil with just some salt and pepper, but brown or white rice works well too. I've done it over Farro too and that was good.
You can, but I'd try to avoid it if possible. The bottled stuff just isn't the same, ya know? If you absolutely have to, add 3 tbsp of bottled juice in lieu of the fresh lemon. Let me know how it turns out!
So how was it? Would definitely appreciate if you leave a comment below and let me know what you thought! Always love hearing from you guys...and don't worry I'm an Italian from New Jersey...I got thick skin!
Healthy Lemon Garlic Chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic halved
- 1 lb chicken breasts cut into small ¼-½ inch strips
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 lemon juice from 1 lemon
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1½ tsp dried thyme separated; 1 tsp and ½ tsp
- crushed red pepper to taste; optional
- 1 head broccoli cut into florets
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the halved garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute until fragrant. Add the chicken strips, season with the salt and pepper and cook through. Be careful not to overcook here. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the lemon juice to the pan and deglaze, scrapping up all the bits of fond from the skillet. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the broth and thyme to the pan and the crushed red pepper (if using). Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing all the flavors to come together. After 2-3 minutes, remove the halved garlic from the pan and discard.
- Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes (or longer if you like your broccoli more on the softer side). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked.
- Serve over riced cauliflower or rice. Enjoy!
- To feed my family of 4 (two adults (big eaters); 2 kids), I always double up on this recipe.
- Feel free to use 2 heads of broccoli per 1 lb of chicken breast if you like more broccoli in your meal. If you are doubling up on the recipe, 3 heads should do it though.
- Nutritional information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking method and ingredients used. It's advised you calculate your own nutritional values if needed.