Mediterranean Skillet Chicken
Things have been rather busy for me lately. I’ve been doing my usual full-time gig as a hospital dietitian, and on top of that I’ve been seeing at least four clients per week in my private practice. It’s been so wonderful getting to meet all of these new people and help them to reach their nutrition goals. One thing that has me feeling extra-energized and fulfilled lately is that more and more of my clients have been talking about food behaviour, food psychology, and self-esteem.
I love talking to clients about HOW they eat in addition to WHAT they eat.
Talking about how you eat means talking about your relationship with food – how eating or not eating makes you feel, your beliefs about nutrition, and how it relates to the way you feel about yourself. It is my personal belief that cultivating a healthy relationship with food is just as important, or even more important than choosing nutritious foods. I am so impressed by my client’s ability and willingness to be vulnerable when talking about food relationships, self-esteem, and body image.
Because I’ve been seeing so many clients, I’ve had little time to spend in the kitchen. The solution to zero time to prepare meals? Hello skillet dinners! One pan and a few ingredients yield a delicious meal that is light on the clean-up. This Mediterranean Chicken Skillet combines the classic roast chicken and potato, but with a zing of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh herbs to liven it up. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Chicken Skillet
Serves 2-3 depending on how many chicken breasts you use
2-3 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 medium potatoes, or about 15 baby potatoes, chopped into 2 cm (1 inch) pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 shallot, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup fresh herbs, such as basil, mint, and/or oregano, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400⁰F (I used 385⁰F with convection).
Note: It is important that the potatoes are cut into small cubes, or they won’t be cooked by the time the chicken is ready.
Pat the chicken breasts dry on both sides with a clean dish towel or paper towels, and set aside. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmery, brown the chicken breasts on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Regulate the heat to prevent the oil from burning.
Once the chicken is browned, remove to a plate. If the oil has burned, pour it out and add another tbsp olive oil to the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook, shaking the pan frequently, for about 4-5 minutes, until the potatoes are just starting to brown. Then add the garlic and shallot and stir well, cooking for 30 seconds more.
Push the potatoes over to one side, and add the chicken back to the skillet. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and potatoes, and immediately put the skillet in the oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165⁰F. Remove the chicken to a plate to rest, and put the potatoes back in the oven for 5 minutes more.
Once the potatoes are done, you can either remove them to a platter for serving, or add the chicken back to the skillet. Sprinkle the potatoes and chicken with herbs and lemon zest, and season the dish with salt and pepper if necessary. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil right before serving.
Serve this with a big side of leafy green vegetables, or a nice salad. I would also love to try this recipe with cherry tomatoes and potatoes baked alongside the chicken.