Lemon Braised Chicken with White Beans and Herbs

This weekend I got to do one of my favorite things EVER! I got to join a group of fabulous women in the kitchen and cook an incredibly delicious meal together. My friend Mary opened her gorgeous kitchen for a Home Cooked Healing style cooking class and it was a HUGE success. We spent a few hours in the kitchen, going over the menu, highlighting some new ingredients and then we cooked up a storm! Our efforts were well rewarded with an incredible meal, delicious dessert and great conversation. Everyone oohed and ahhed at the meal and were pleasantly surprised that the recipes were totally gluten, sugar, and dairy free (with exception of some grated cheese). Yes, cooking with real food is easy AND delicious!

Here are my awesome students! We had three young ladies join us and I was so impressed by their skills and interest. Get your kids in the kitchen my friends!

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I get a lot of questions during my cooking classes and demos. Questions about quitting coffee, how to cook quinoa, cooking for people with allergies and so on.

My favorite question is….”does your fiance eat this kind of food?”

I got this question from a newlywed during my class this weekend and it really made me chuckle. Mr. Wes is a diesel mechanic and of course works in a big shop surrounded by a bunch of burly mechanics and truck drivers. When they find out what I do for work they give him pitiful looks and say things like, “must suck to eat rabbit food all the time, huh?” Then, he chuckles and says, “you have no idea how well I eat!” And then he goes on to brag about the delicious lunch we had that day. Clearly, we’re both completely misunderstood 🙂

Last week I made this lemon braised chicken dish to give it a quick run-through before my cooking class. When I tasted it I turned to the dog (she was the only one around) and said, “holy $hit that’s good!”Mr. Wes was completely in love with it and slurped the sauce from his plate. And, he couldn’t get enough of the raw zucchini salad. So yes, my fiance eat my kind of food!

I knew that I really had hit a home-run when at 5:30 the next morning he rolled over and said, “what’s for dinner tonight?”

Ready to wow your family (picky eaters included!) with an incredible dinner? This chicken dish is crazy easy and is great warmed up for leftovers. Paired with polenta and a salad it’s absolute perfection!

Lemon Braised Chicken with White Beans and Herbs
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds organic boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 lemons
3 cans white navy beans, drained and rinsed (Eden Organic brand preferred)
Handful of mixed herbs (parsley, tarragon, thyme and oregano all work well)
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. In a large Dutch oven or heavy ovenproof pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler and carefully peel the rind from one of the lemon in wide strips. Be sure you are only peeling the very top of the rind. You don’t want any white pith on the peels as that can give your food a bitter taste. Set aside. Halve both lemons and squeeze out the juice into a small bowl. Set aside as well.
  3. Pat the chicken dry and add to the pot. Make sure the chicken is touching the bottom of the pot. Brown the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side or until it begins to brown.
  4. Meanwhile, separate about 1 cup of the rinsed beans and place them in a medium b0wl. Add a splash of water. Using an immersion blender or potato masher mash the beans until they are creamy. Add more water if needed. Set aside. This will be used to thicken the sauce at the end.
  5. Add 4 cups of water to the chicken, the lemon rind, lemon juice, whole beans and a generous pinch of salt. Raise heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and place in the oven. Continue to cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through and tender.
  6. When done, remove pot from the oven and taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the blended beans until they are completely dissolved.
  7. Top with a mix of fresh herbs like thyme, dill, chives and tarragon. Serve over rice, polenta or a side of crusty bread. Enjoy!

Oven Baked Polenta
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1 cup organic polenta
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 1 1/2 qt covered baking dish mix all the ingredients together. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes. Stir and bake for 10 more minutes.
  3. You can serve this right away in a creamy consistency. If you let it sit it will harden and you can then slice it and pan fry it if you like. Either way is delicious. Enjoy!
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