This was the third time my husband requested that I make, “that thing with the chicken strips and vegetables.” I looked at him like he’d grown an extra ear. I mean, the vegetables aren’t even hidden in the dish. They are right out there in the open.
When I met him, my husband’s idea of vegetables was the pickle on his fast food burger. Now here he was requesting real garden fresh vegetables for his dinner … again.
The dish, which I refer to as Chicken Primavera, is extremely versatile. It is healthy, adaptable to any special dietary needs, and makes great use of seasonal produce. Each time I make it, the result is a little different due to the available vegetables we have on hand. If I don’t have fresh produce, I use frozen with equal success.
Along with using a variety of different vegetables, you can add extra zest to the meal with sesame oil, a spritz of fresh lime or the heat of hot peppers. For another delicious variation, toss with grated Parmesan.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch thick strips
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (or coconut or sesame oil)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 zucchinis or yellow squash, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Measure rice and 2 cups water into medium saucepan. Stir once. Turn burner on high until it begins to boil. Lower to medium and let simmer until water is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Heat oil in skillet on medium high heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, cooking until onions are soft. Add chicken to pan, turning over when cooked halfway through.
- Add bell pepper, zucchini, squash and tomato, spices and lime to skillet. As they cook, the natural vegetable juices will be released and there will be a lot of liquid in the pan. You can skim some off with a spoon and reserve for a broth.
- Once the vegetables are cooked through, raise heat to high and cook off the remaining liquid. Stir ingredients around in the pan and do not allow to stick. After the liquid is cooked off, the onions will become caramelized and the chicken will take on a delicious sear. This is when all the flavors really combine and the texture becomes more of a sauce. Stir in Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Remove from heat, add reserved liquid if desired, and serve over hot rice.
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