Tonight, I wanted something pasta-free. *GASP* I know, I know: pasta is my thing. It’s my favorite ingredient and a majority of my posts are recipes involving pasta. However, while I would happily eat pasta every night forever and ever, sometimes, it’s good to switch things up. When I came across this recipe on Tastespotting today, I knew I had to recreate it. I only made some minor changes—I subbed in broccoli for the green beans (I’ve never been a fan of green beans; asparagus could work really well in this too); added a little butter to the lemon-olive oil mixture; and added thyme, onion, and fresh lemon peel to kick the dish up a notch. The result was a delicious, lemony dish perfect for any time of year that both looked pretty and cleaned up easily.
Prep. time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes
- Pam or other cooking spray
- 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. white wine (cooking wine is fine)
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 2 lemons, one thinly sliced and one zested and juiced
- 1 medium to large onion, thinly sliced (pull the slices apart into rings)
- 6-10 small to medium red potatoes, washed and cut into small pieces (approx. 4 pieces per small potato, 6 pieces per medium potato)
- 2 small heads broccoli, cut into florets (or 1 bunch asparagus, with stalks cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
- 2 chicken breasts
Preheat the oven to 450*F. Spray a large (9×13), semi-deep oven-safe pan or skillet (I used a big Corningware baking dish) with cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, butter, garlic, and thyme. Whisk in salt and pepper (at least 1 tsp. each). In the pan, lay out the lemon slices along the bottom so that none are overlapping (if you don’t have enough to coat the whole bottom, don’t worry—just make sure you lay them out in rows and don’t overlap). Evenly lay the onion slices/rings over the lemon slices. Toss the potato pieces in the lemon juice-and-oil mixture, remove with a slotted spoon, and evenly distribute them over the layer of onion and lemon slices. Toss the broccoli in the lemon juice-and-oil mixture, remove with slotted spoon, and evenly place the pieces in with the potatoes (on top, next to…just make sure they’re mixed in with the potatoes). Put the chicken breasts in the lemon juice-and-oil mixture, toss to coat, let sit for a few minutes, then use tongs or slotted spoon to remove and place over top of the veggie layers in the pan. Pour the remaining lemon juice-and-oil mixture evenly over the chicken and veggies. Sprinkle the lemon zest evenly over the dish, place in the oven (on the middle rack), and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Serve, being sure to use a spoon to ladle out the cooked lemon juice-and-oil mixture and pour over each serving for extra flavor.
This dish is really easy to make and it cleans up so easily because you’re just using a roasting pan, a small bowl, and a handful of kitchen tools—while the dish is in the oven, you can put away ingredients and wash the dishes, and the cleanup after eating will be that much easier. The flavor is bright, fresh, and simple and the dish is pretty healthy too. This dish is great for any night of the week, but because it looks so beautiful and colorful coming out of the oven (and because prep. and clean up are so easy) it would work well on an evening when you’re expecting a few guests at dinner.