Originally Published in the Greenwood Daily Journal Saturday January 20, 2013
Look around you. I would imagine that out of the first five people you see, three of them are sick in some way or another. Congestion, coughing or worse-the flu. There is a reason that many of us fall ill this time of year.
Yes, the germs are everywhere and are hard to avoid. Proper hand washing, getting the flu shot and staying away from people who are ill are just a few ways you can combat sickness in the winter months.
But what about diet, sleep, water intake, vitamins and good old exercise? A few of the easiest ways to stay healthy are free and easy to do like getting an extra hour of sleep a night, trying to drink more water and adding a few more steps to your day. Take the stairs, park in the back of the lot and give the dog a few extra minutes to play outside are a few good tips. Take it from the mall walkers-you can walk off your dinner year round indoors as well.
I also like to up my vitamin C intake in the winter months. Not only do I like the natural boost but citrus is also in season and more available right now. Blood oranges for juice and salads, minneola’s for breakfast or Cara Cara’s for my smoothies. My favorite though, is the Meyer lemon. I just love they way them smell, unpeeled. They are a more petite citrus, a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. They are less tart than the standard orange and perfect for cooking and baking. Their scent is unmistakable and by far one of my favorite kitchen scents.
In this months issue of Cooking Light magazine there is a piece on chicken 25 ways. They do this annually at about this time of year. I’m sure is has something to do with January being a lean month (post holiday debt), and people are looking for economical ways to eat healthier. Keeping their resolutions and all.
I found seven recipes right off the bat that I want to try and was happy to see that my favorite Meyer lemon was featured in a recipe or two. One such dish is a skillet meal that I am sharing today. You can make a few substitutions like using boneless chicken breasts in place of the chicken halves, Kalamata olives in place of the listed ones and regular lemons in place of the Meyer a variety. Just add a few teaspoons of sugar to the lemon juice at the end to stave off a tart taste. I was able to find Meyer lemons at Meijer and Kroger for a good price.
So adding a bit of zip from citrus fruit to your weeknight dishes is easier than you think with this easy recipe. Plus, it sounds like we all could use a bit of extra vitamin C right now.
Meyer Lemon Chicken
- 2 skin on breast halves, halved crosswise
- 2 skin on bone in chicken thighs
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- ¾ tsp black pepper, divided
- cooking spray
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 lb small red potatoes, quartered
- 1 Meyer Lemon cut into slices
- ¼ C shallots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ C white wine
- ½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped (may substitute dried-1 tsp)
- 1 C low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 oz pitted Castelvetrano olives (I used Kalamata)
- 2 TB fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 2 TB butter
- 1 TB parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat an oven proof skillet over medium heat.
- Sprinkle chicken with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
- Coat chicken with cooking spray and add to pan, skin side down.
- Cook 6 minutes or until skin is golden brown and crisp.
- Turn chicken over.
- Place pan in oven.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until juice runs clear.
- Remove chicken from pan, keep warm.
- Discard pan drippings.
- Add 1 TB of oil to pan and add potatoes, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt.
- Cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
- Remove from pan.
- Add lemon slices and cook for 1 minute on each side.
- Remove from pan.
- Add remaining oil, shallots and garlic to pan and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add wine and thyme, cook 1 minute or until liquid has cooked down.
- Return potatoes and lemons to pan, add all but ⅓ of the chicken stock and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cook 2 minutes then add the remaining stock that has been mixed with the cornstarch.
- Pour over potatoes, add the olives.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cook 1 minute then add the butter and lemon juice.
- Return the chicken to the pan, turning to coat.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley.
From Cooking Light January 2013