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French Chicken with Spring Vegetables (Lean & Lively)

Recipe: French Chicken with Spring Vegetables (Lean & Lively)

Remarks:

    This recipe is all about the bounty of fresh spring veggies and how you can use all sorts of them to make a lovely, healthy meal-a sort of stew. Nice thing is that, although there are lots of expensive veggies in this recipe, you don't need very many of any; and you can change any of them you want to suit your taste and your budget.

    This recipe has a French theme. I also made it the other day and changed the veggies to those you'd find in Mexican cooking, added a can of pinto beans to make a nice gravy and used Southwestern spices instead of tarragon and had a whole different meal. Make this one, or use this recipe as an inspiration to make your own. Either way you'll be eating healthy and feel like a gourmet.

Servings:
Serves 2. Can be doubled.

Ingredients:

    2 large organic chicken breast halves, skin removed
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Olive oil spray
    Olive oil in the bottle
    2 large shallots, minced
    Handful of baby patty pan squash, sliced in halves
    Handful of tiny fiddlehead ferns
    Handful of fresh small morels, cleaned and sliced
    Handful of sliced button mushrooms
    Handful of haricot verts (French green beans)
    1/2 red bell pepper, sliced to quarter-inch
    Handful of cherry tomatoes
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1-1/2 cups chicken broth (divided)
    1/2 tsp dried tarragon

Instructions:

    Season cleaned chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Spray with olive oil spray. Using your cast iron sauté pan (or an ovenproof sauté pan), sauté the chicken topside down for 4 minutes on Medium High until it's golden.

    Flip the chicken over and put in your oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. By finishing the chicken in the oven, it will remain nice and juicy. If your chicken breasts are not large, they might take a little less cooking time.

    While the chicken is roasting, you are going to make the vegetables. You can use just about any kind of veggies for this meal. I chose these for this version because these are all veggies that are fresh in spring. They are also a little more exotic and fall under the French-gourmet category. If you don't like these or don't have access to them, just find substitutes you think you'd like. This meal is all about healthy and flavorful-Lean & Lively.

    To a large sauté pan, first add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the minced shallots and the button mushrooms. Stir while cooking on Medium until the shallots are loose and begin to brown. The button mushrooms should have brown edges too. Now add one-quarter cup of the chicken broth. Sauté until most of the liquid is gone, and then add the squash, the fiddlehead ferns, the red pepper and the morels. Sauté two minutes on Medium. Add 1-1/4 cups chicken broth and the tarragon and garlic powder along with the cherry tomatoes. Cook the whole mess on Medium Low for 15 minutes while the chicken is finishing up. Your beans should still be slightly crunchy; the morels will give the sauce a wonderful, full flavor. Your cherry tomatoes will be warm but not soggy.

Serving Suggestions:

    If you have pasta bowls, this is a great meal to serve in them. Veggies on the bottom, chicken on top. Garnish with some fresh herbs from the garden or leave as is. It's a very colorful meal.

Enjoy!

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