Easy Chicken with Pan Sauce and Kale

Easy Chicken with Pan Sauce and Kale

Easy Chicken with Pan Sauce & Kale is a super simple all-in-one meal but it looks like a million bucks! So it’s perfect for date night, family dinner, entertaining or even a holiday meal.   As much as I want to take credit for this mouth-watering recipe, my ex-boyfriend Spencer created it and I’ve recently made some changes to it. If the thought of preparing a meal makes you nervous, this recipe is awesome, because it walks you through step by step how to create an easy pan sauce, how to perfectly sear chicken breasts and how to make a deceptively simple side of kale.  Plus it’s so good for you! The chicken provides sexy muscle-building protein.  The pan sauce is all natural.  And kale is a nutrition super star thanks to tons of Vitamin K, plus Vitamin C for beautiful skin, Vitamin A and calcium.  A couple of helpful tips; if you’re chicken breast is super thick, you can pound it down a bit (or have your butcher do it.)  If you’re sensitive to heat, use only 1 or 1 and ½ peppers.  You’ll need two large pans for this recipe (save the largest pan for the kale.) Love this recipe? Please SHARE it on social media!

Makes 4 servings

For the chicken & sauce:

  • 4 chicken breasts, preferably organic, brought to room temperature
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 large sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped (approximately 3 tablespoon chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons real butter, preferably organic or vegan butter if you’re dairy free
  • 2/3 cup organic low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 lemon

For the kale:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large bunches of kale, rinsed (I used purple and green kale but you can use all green)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 of your favorite hot red or green peppers, depending on how much heat you like (like Fresno,  Anaheim or Jalapeno)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (preferably the kind sweetened with fruit juice and not sugar, but whatever you got)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a heavy, preferably non-stick pan (or seasoned cast iron skillet works great too) over medium-high heat.  Once pan is hot, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and swirl to coat.
  2. While the oil heats up, season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary.   Make sure oil is hot and add chicken one piece at a time to the pan (it should sizzle a bit.)  Then don’t touch it! Seriously- let the chicken sear (get golden brown) for approximately 4 to 5 minutes and then flip gently and repeat the process to sear the other side (this adds tons of flavor to the pan for an amazing pan sauce.)
  3. Once chicken is seared on each side, remove it with a pair of tongs and set aside on a plate.  In the same pan, add butter, chicken stock and a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the pan.  Cook, stirring constantly for approximately 5 minutes or so until the sauce starts to come together. Place the chicken back in the pan on top of the sauce (pour any juices from the chicken on the plate directly into the pan.  Put the entire pan in the oven and cook until chicken is no longer pink inside**, approximately 6 to 15 minutes (the cooking time depends on how thick your chicken breast is.)  Tip: You can make a tiny slice in the thickest chicken breast after 6 minutes to check for doneness- it’s important not to overcook the chicken.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan carefully from the oven (make sure to wear an oven mitt- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mistakenly reached in and grabbed the hot pan handle and burned myself!)  Place chicken only on a plate and cover very loosely with foil.   Stir the pan sauce, adjust seasoning to your liking and set pan with sauce aside.
  5. **While the chicken cooks, place a second large pan over medium heat.   Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and swirl to coat.
  6. Once the oil is hot sauté onions until translucent (about 5 minutes).   Add chopped peppers and sauté an additional minute.
  7. Place chopped kale directly on top of peppers and onion (it will be overflowing!)  Add water and apple cider vinegar to the pan.  Season with ¼ heaping teaspoon salt.  Cover the pan with a lid and let the kale wilt down for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Once the kale has wilted enough, give it a stir.  Add a few more pinches of salt.
  8. Cover and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until kale is tender.  Remove cover, stir in handful of dried cranberries and continue cooking until the water is evaporated.
  9. Spoon pan sauce over chicken and serve alongside the kale. Enjoy!

This recipe has a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat and is a complete balanced meal.


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