Chicken Francese (Lemon Chicken)

Sometimes you look at the chicken and potatoes in front of you on the counter and you just feel uninspired and unmotivated. If I'm not careful, that will end up as a trip to Taco Time, so usually I try to plan my meals at least a week ahead of time (which also makes for faster shopping trips and less $ spent). Sometimes that still leaves me uninspired, or with a recipe that takes more time than I am willing to spend, so I'll browse pinterest, which is where I found this recipe. I've made it a couple of times now, and it's definitely a keeper.

1 chicken breast
1-2 Tlbs whole wheat flour
1 egg white, beaten
olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tlbs white wine vinegar
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 Tlbs whole wheat flour
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tlbs fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp coconut oil*

Slice the chicken breast in half by laying it flat, putting your hand on top of the chicken breast, and using a sharp knife to carefully slice the chicken horizontal to your hand. This will give you two thinner slices of chicken (cutlets). Put the flour in one small bowl and the beaten egg whites in another bowl. In a third bowl, put the lemon, white wine vinegar, chicken broth, 2 Tlbs whole wheat flour, black pepper, parsley and coconut oil. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, with a small amount of olive oil (if necessary). When the pan is hot, dip the chicken in flour, then in egg white, then saute it for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan, and pour in the lemon mixture. Heat it, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken, then add the chicken back into the pan for a minute or two. Serve by putting the chicken on a plate and spooning a small amount of sauce over the top.

*the coconut oil can be switched out with butter...melt the butter first if you use butter. There is absolutely no coconut taste if you use coconut oil instead and it tastes just as rich.

This is really good and very light. It's even better served with these roasted potatoes (which I've also modified slightly). I changed her recipe a little bit - reduced it by fourths (her recipe is for 12 cutlets), replaced the white wine with white wine vinegar, cut out the salt, cut down the amount of lemon, cut out the lemon slices altogether, and replaced the butter with coconut oil. I like lemon, but this was really strong the first time I made it. It is important to do all the prep first, because this only takes a few minutes from start to finish, once you put the chicken in the pan.

Rating: 5/5
Why? It's fast, easy, light, and filling.


Balsamic Vegetables and Meatballs

I've never been a huge fan of meatballs, and after a recent attempt to make burgers, I've realized that I am no longer a huge fan of raw beef either, but this recipe looked good and I thought I would give it a try anyway. It was definitely worth it, although I will be making a few changes to the original recipe (from Clean Eating, naturally).

2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 small pkg of lean ground turkey
1 egg white
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
olive oil (or coconut oil*)
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tlbs balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray it with olive oil. Spread the bell peppers and onion on the baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes, until the edges are slightly blackened. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the turkey, egg white, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and rosemary. Form into small (1 inch) meatballs. In a large skillet, melt 1 Tlbs of coconut oil over medium oil, then saute the meatballs one batch at a time, until browned and cooked all the way through (mine took about 6-7 minutes). Remove the meatballs from the heat, but leave the pan on medium. Add mushrooms and thyme to the skillet and saute the mushrooms until they are golden brown (mine took 3-4 minutes). Turn off the heat and add the vinegar, then add the meatballs back into the pan. When the bell peppers and onions are done, add them in the mixture as well, and toss everything together. Serve warm.

The original directions included a yellow summer squash which I ended up disliking, so I left it out of the recipe above. It also called for this to be served over pasta, but I didn't like that either. It also called for fresh thyme, but I forgot to buy it. Heh. I used turkey instead of beef and to make up some of the flavor, I added the garlic and onion to the meatball mixture.

This was a pretty good recipe and actually came together pretty quickly. The meatballs totally made this though, they were amazing, if I do say so myself. I had some issues with splatter in the pan, and they were shaped more like pyramids than balls, but they tasted fantastic.

*I started using coconut oil and I really like it. We'll see how it goes.

Rating? 4/5
Why? it does take a while to make this, because of roasting the peppers and onions, but it is still good.