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A healthy balanced meal of roasted chicken breasts and tender veggies with a light and creamy sauce made simple by using only one pan!
Last week when I made this dinner, it was the first week of back to school from winter break. It was quite chaotic in my house as it always is when trying to get back into the regular routine/school mode. Added to that chaos, I was sick over the New Year's holiday, and then my 16-year-old daughter came down with a nasty virus that had her in bed with a high fever for 5 days.
I still like to try to get some sort of comforting, nutritious dinner on the table in these times, so the quicker and the easier, the better.
When in doubt, I like to look through my old Cooking Light magazine for ideas. This recipe is one I changed up a little from another one I found in the magazine. I really was surprised by how good this yummy, creamy chicken and veggies meal turned out. This sauce is made with a little bit of flour and milk, and still tastes like it's a rich, not-so-good-for-you creamy sauce. The chicken stock adds a nice bit of extra flavor, along with the thyme which I love paired with chicken.
Reasons One Pan Creamy Roast Chicken and Veggies is good for you
- Chicken - Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein which our body needs to keep our muscles healthy. Organic, pasture-raised chicken is the best choice, but if you're on a budget like I am a lot of the time, regular chicken is better than fast food or a processed, packaged meal. Chicken is also full of other essential vitamins and minerals such as B3, B6 and selenium. Our bodies need vitamin B3 for energy production. Vitamin B6 helps process carbohydrates, supports red blood cell production and is good for our brains, nervous system and liver. Selenium, another antioxidant, helps to keep the thyroid functioning normally.
- Carrots - Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which keeps our eyes healthy. Foods with a deep orange or yellow color are great for helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Potatoes - Potatoes get a bad rap probably due to all the unhealthy ways people cook them. Think French fries, tater tots, potato chips, but potatoes are actually quite nutritious and good for our bodies. Potatoes also include vitamin B6 (mentioned above), potassium and fiber. Potatoes would also be a good choice to fuel up before a long exercise session or athletic event. They're loaded with carbohydrates and vitamin B6. Remember, most of the fiber is in the skin, which is ok to eat. Remember to clean them really well before cooking.
- Mushrooms - Mushrooms are an antioxidant and also have some great anti-inflammatory benefits. They are also packed with the minerals copper and selenium. Copper is good for our bones and tissues, as well as keeping our cholesterol in balance.
Try to remember, the more variety of healthy foods you incorporate into your meals, the bigger variety of nutrients you are getting. Eat your veggies!
One Pan Creamy Roast Chicken & Veggies
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces carrots peeled
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 8 ounces new potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
- 5 stems fresh thyme
- 1 lemon cut into 8 thin slices, seeds removed (zest lemon before slicing)
- 1½ cups whole milk divided (1 cup and ½ cup)
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest grated
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Wash and dry all produce.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. The largest skillet you can find is best, as it will help the veggies to roast, instead of steam in the pan if they are crowded together. Add olive oil to skillet. Cook chicken in skillet until golden brown on each side. Chicken will cook more later, so it's okay if not done at this point. Remove chicken from skillet.
- Add veggies and thyme to skillet. Put skillet in oven and roast for 12 minutes.
- Add chicken back to skillet and top with lemon slices. Roast for an additional 12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and veggies from skillet.
- While chicken and veggies are cooking, mix ½ cup milk, all-purpose flour and lemon zest. After chicken and veggies have been removed from skillet, place skillet back on stove on medium-high heat. Add milk and flour mixture, the additional 1 cup of milk and the chicken stock. Cook until bubbly and reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken and veggies back to pan, and coat with sauce. Thyme stems can be removed. Most of the actual herb should have fallen off and flavored the food.
- Garnish with Italian parsley.
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