Are you in need for a fast healthy and tasty dinner? I personally struggle with having time after a long day at work to cook an elaborate dinner. I try my best to make meals that are packed with nutrition in order keep energized for the next day. My spiced lemon chicken recipe is the perfect wholesome meal during those hectic weekdays. I always stock my pantry with essential spices such as garlic, cumin, coriander and paprika, so I can make a quick spice blend to add more flavor to my proteins and the best part is you do not need to marinate for hours!
These spices along with a dash of fresh garlic, onions, rosemary, thyme, lemon and olive oil give a nice Middle Eastern flavor to this chicken recipe. By lightly sauteing the onions and garlic in the olive oil first, this allows the caramelized flavors to infuse into the spiced chicken, and the lemon juice helps to tenderize and brighten the dish.
This spiced lemon chicken recipe can be served with you favorite sides or on top of a salad. I like to make fresh hummus, served with a side of spinach salad and fresh vegetables. My cranberry almond quinoa recipe is also the perfect healthy side dish to accompany the chicken and it takes just about the same amount of time to cook, so they will be ready to serve and enjoy together!
– Make the thickness of the piece of chicken as uniform as possible to ensure even cooking. You can slice the breast through the center to create two thinner slices, or you can pound the chicken out to a thinner piece.
– When sauteing chicken, make sure the heat is just high enough so the oil is nice and hot but not smoking, and I have an even layer of oil in the pan. Saute each side of the chicken until golden brown, then turn down the heat and check the temperature at the thickest part of the meat with a calibrated digital thermometer. This gives a gauge about how much more time is needed to cook the chicken.
– Meats have “carry-over cooking” once removed from the pan, so I like to remove the chicken when it reaches about 160 degrees F, then allow the meat to rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to reach 165 degrees F before serving. This way I know my chicken is cooked and still juicy, but most importantly safe to eat!
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 springs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 pound of chicken breast, cut into 4 pieces (I sliced the chicken breast through the center)
- 1 lemon, sliced into 4 wedges
- In a small bowl, combine the spice mix together; cumin, coriander, onion powder, garlic, paprika, pepper and salt. Set aside.
- Evenly coat both sides of the chicken breast with ½ teaspoon of the spice mix on each side (1 teaspoon total).
- Add ¼ cup olive oil to a large sauté pan and heat oil over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Move the onions to the outer edges of the pan, and place the 4 pieces of chicken in the center of the pan. Add the springs of rosemary and thyme into the pan so the flavor if the herbs are infused in the cooking oil.
- Sauté the chicken breasts for 3 minutes, until the surface is nicely browned. Lower heat to medium, flip over each piece of chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 160°F - 165°F. Turn off the heat and squeeze half of a whole lemon over the chicken in the pan.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!