This is a complete meal with tender chicken breasts and Mediterranean-inspired vegetables in a delicate sauce accompanied by whole grain rice, scented with rosemary and lemon – all with the goodness of milk simmered right in. It’s easy enough for a weeknight, yet fit for company too.
- Prep: 20 min
- Cooking: 40 min
- 2 cups (500 mL) milk divided
- 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) whole wheat flour divided
- 1 cup (250 mL) long-grain brown rice preferably parboiled (Converted)
- Grated zest of 1 lemon divided
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 small bulb fennel trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 sweet red, yellow or orange pepper thinly sliced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts filets removed (about 1 lb/500 g)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Chopped fennel fronds (optional)
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup (250 mL) of the milk and chicken broth; whisk in 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the flour. Stir in rice, half of the lemon zest and dried rosemary and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes (or according to package directions), until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed. Let stand, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Brown chicken breasts, turning once, for about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Add onion and fennel to skillet; sauté for 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Add garlic, red pepper, oregano, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and pepper to taste; sauté for 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Return chicken to pan with any juices, nestling chicken into vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or just until chicken is no longer pink inside.
Uncover skillet and increase heat to medium. Whisk remaining flour into remaining milk and stir into skillet; bring to a simmer, stirring. Simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in remaining lemon zest and lemon juice; season to taste with pepper and up to 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) more salt.
Fluff rice with a fork. Spoon onto plates and top with chicken, vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle with fennel fronds (if using).
Choose small chicken breasts and remove the filets to ensure even cooking. Use the filets for a stir-fry or grill or broil for a salad.
For even more Mediterranean flavour, add a pinch of saffron threads with the rosemary in the rice and sprinkle crumbled Feta cheese on top of each serving.
To prepare fennel, cut off root end and long stalks; reserve any feathery fronds to chop for garnish, if desired. Trim off any brown from outer layers. Cut bulb in half lengthwise and cut out core. Place bulb halves flat-side down on a cutting board and thinly slice crosswise.
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Nutritional informationPer serving
Top 5 Nutrients
|Calcium:||21 % / 226 mg|
|Vitamin B6:||83 %|
|Vitamin C:||88 %|