Lemon and Thyme Chicken with Spinach Rice
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We are all looking for something a little different right now, or we would be eating a variation of Hamburger Helper every night. Now that the Panic Shoppers and the damage they have done to our grocery supply are in the recent history, we can find things like boneless skinless chicken on the shelves again. Add a little lemon and thyme? You can amaze your family with a meal worthy of a gourmet restaurant.
Lemon and Thyme Chicken
When I say “lemon and thyme”, I don’t want you to become confused with “lemon thyme”. Lemon thyme is one of the many varieties of thyme. … It looks just like regular thyme, with long, thin sprigs with tiny spear-shaped green leaves. You’ll notice a difference immediately when you crush a few of its leaves and breath in its sweet, lemony aroma.
While you could certainly used lemon thyme instead of plain thyme in this recipe to kick that tangy flavor up a notch, that added expense isn’t really needed.
If you like growing your own herbs, lemon thyme might be a great one to add. It is a hearty perennial. That means it will come back year after year and usually get bigger or spread in territory each year. Some of our most-used cooking herbs are perennials, including sage, oregano and thyme. But a bonus of perennial herbs is that many of them are as attractive as they are tasty, making them functional beyond the kitchen.
Besides being tasty, lemon thyme has medicinal properties! The compounds in lemon thyme can help to treat and prevent conditions like: Respiratory tract ailments: Compounds like thymol can provide relief from bronchitis, whooping cough and similar illnesses. Gastrointestinal ailments: Lemon thyme can be used to treat gastritis along with bloating and indigestion.
You will need:
- 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- 3 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 ¼ cup brown rice (dried)
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 8 oz baby spinach leaves
Place chicken in a medium bowl or plate with an edge. Mix 1 tablespoon thyme, 2 teaspoons lemon rind, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil in another bowl and rub over chicken.
Cover and refrigerate approximately 20 minutes to let flavors sink in (overnight would be best).
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large deep non stick pan or wok. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes until it is soft, stirring often.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add rice and stir everything together until rice is coated, approximately 2 minutes.
Add the water and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer over low heat for approximately 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. If necessary add a little more stock and cook longer until tender.
While the rice is cooking, transfer the chicken breasts and marinade to a non-stick tray and grill for approximately 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Once rice is finished, stir in the baby spinach, remaining lemon rind and thyme. the spinach will wilt quickly so you can transfer the rice to the serving plate. Top with grilled chicken and serve.
I know you are going to rip into it like a monkey on a cupcake, but take a second to appreciate that tangy zip in the dish that brings the rice, spinach, and chicken together in a harmonious way. This is one of those dishes you will end up craving as it really makes your mouth water just thinking about it.
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