Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Let’s talk chicken, shall we?  We eat a lot of it in the Brown House.  We get the antibiotic and hormone-free breasts from the farmer’s market, and we usually eat it for dinner once a week and pack it with salads for lunch a couple of days as well.  When prepared in a healthy way (i.e. not McDonald’s nuggets…which may not even contain any actual chicken!), chicken can be a great source of protein.

Speaking of chicken, did you know Longevity sells farm-fresh eggs from my folks’ farm in North Carolina each week? They are a serious deal at $3/dozen.

I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty bored with chicken if I eat it the same way all the time, so I’m always looking for ways to mix up the flavor.  We grill it, bake it, sauté it and put it in the crock pot depending on the time of year and what style of dish we’re going for (See my lettuce wraps, fajitas and  stir-fry recipes!).

I recently came across a couple of good chicken recipes online and decided to tweak them a bit.  When preparing to make any new dish, I like to look at lots of different recipes and pick and choose the things I like from each one.  Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on things, especially if you know a way to make a recipe more nutritious or prepare it in a healthier way!  So here’s my spin on an Apricot Walnut Chicken dinner….but let’s call it The Nutritionista’s Walnicot Chicken Delight! It packs a lot of nutrition and combines delicious fall flavors like honey, cinnamon and walnuts.

The Nutritionista’s Walnicot Chicken Delight

A perfect dish for Autumn!

Here’s what you’ll need:

4 boneless chicken breasts

2 lemons

1 cup chicken broth

2 ½ TBS honey

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1/2 cup sliced dried apricots

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 TBS chopped parsley

salt, pepper and ground cinnamon to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Season the chicken breasts with the juice from 1 1/2 lemons, salt, pepper and cinnamon and bake at 400 degrees.

While chicken is baking, combine chicken broth, the juice from 1/2 a lemon, honey and Dijon mustard in a small saucepan.  Whisk together and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes so that the sauce reduces and the flavors are all enhanced.

Add in the apricots and cook on high for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add walnuts, parsley, salt, pepper and cinnamon.  (Feel free to substitute the parsley for fresh mint leaves to mix up the flavor!)

When the chicken is cooked to at least 165 degrees, remove from oven.  Serve over a grain like rice or cous cous, or over a vegetable like asparagus, spinach, kale or collard greens and pour sauce on top.

I served my chicken over cooked spinach. A side of baked sweet potato with brown sugar and butter was the finishing touch to my fall theme!

There you have it, a delicious dinner in about 30 minutes.  When I asked Shea to rate my dish on a scale of 1 to 10, he gave it an 8.95, so we’re going to round that up to a solid A performance.  (I always give myself bonus points when nobody suffers bodily harm and nothing catches on fire during my cooking shenanigans!)

If you haven’t noticed, I’m so ready for fall.  Bring on the pumpkins, Thanksgiving, apple pies, cool mornings, sweaters, cider, and even the football!  Do you have a healthy fall recipe to share?  I’d love to try it out.  I’m also pulling together some ideas for a future post on healthy tailgating recipe ideas, so send your suggestions my way!

Happy Fall, Ya’ll!

5 Comments

Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes

5 responses to “Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

  1. Katie

    Wow! I’m going to try this one too! At the rate you are going, I won’t ever need to crack open my cookbooks…I’m so ready for fall too!
    Thanks Nutritionista!

  2. Claire

    Any posts coming up about protein for vegetarians? I read your post about avoiding soy and am interested in what you recommend for vegetarians. I miss your smiling face around the office!

    • Hey Claire,

      Sorry I’ve been ignoring the vegetarians! I’ll try to incorporate some vegetarian recipes in the future! I think it’s possible to be a healthy vegetarian, but you have to work extra hard at it. The tendency is to eat way too many processed carbs and sugars, so make sure you’re getting lots of fresh fruits and veggies and high-quality fats. You can get your protein in with healthy beans and nuts. Do you eat cheese? Do you take a good multivitamin?

  3. Claire

    Thanks, JoAnna! As a vegetarian for 11 years, I know it’s not for everyone but I am trying to do it the healthy way. I take a multi-vitamin/antioxidant every day and typically eat a banana or organic carrot sticks for a snack (or a granola bar as an occasional treat). I am sensitive to lactose so I have to watch my cheese intake, even though I love it. I’m looking forward to more posts. Enjoy your weekend!

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