So something I’ve also been learning and finding a lot of joy in during this chapter of life is how to cook for real, with normal-person skills and resources. I’m certainly no professional chef, but I think preparing a meal for someone is one of the great ways we can love them and honor God with our creativity. I’ve especially enjoyed learning how to use fresh ingredients to create something both satisfying and flavorful. I’m also discovering there’s something sacred about gathering around a table with people you love, enjoying a meal you prepared, either for them or together. It’s the perfect gathering place for community and family to grow together, learn more about each other, and “do life” together, as they say.
A new adventure in our house at the moment is learning how to cook for a guy who eats a lot but also wants to eat a lot healthier. We aren’t huge paleo-diet, Whole 30 people by any means, but when I found this recipe for Lemon Rosemary Chicken, I thought I’d give it a try. Actually at first I was a little skeptical because, in my experience, lemon chicken has never been particularly exciting to me. In fact I remember thinking to myself, isn’t this the exact dish that Deborah from Everybody Loves Raymond was notoriously bad at and gets made fun of for endlessly by her mother-in-law? But, I’ll give anything a shot once nowadays, so I took a stab at it.
And guess what? It was a hit! I think my husband’s exact words were “This chicken is bomb!” That was seal-of-approval enough for me, not to mention it gave me a good chuckle.
I’m finding that for a lot of successful cooking experiences, some key skills I’ve picked up on have been utilizing seasoning to your advantage, and using fresh, great quality ingredients, including one of my favorite trusty kitchen sidekicks: garlic. For the meals that I’ve found to be particularly delicious and aromatic, the recipe has usually called for some amount of garlic. This dish is no exception!
Lemon, rosemary and garlic, all bake together with seasoned chicken breasts in olive oil in a cast iron pan, and let me tell you, while that’s all getting cozy in the oven, the kitchen smells HEAVENLY.
The recipe, found here, is from a blog called Bravo for Paleo and is full of health-nut-approved meals. I stumbled across it on Pinterest, another one of my trusty sidekicks these days as far as looking for yummy-sounding recipes that I can pull off on a normal weeknight without feeling like I should have gone to culinary school first.
A couple things I did differently:
- We’re trying to cut back on carbs, so I pulled this off without the sweet potatoes. Still delicious.
- The recipe calls for a cast-iron skillet, but I used a cast-iron dutch oven, and cook times were about the same. If you have neither, I’m sure any large, oven-safe skillet will do, but keep an eye on the chicken to make sure it’s cooked through.
- I probably seared the chicken a little longer than the called-for 4 to 5 minutes, simply due to the fact that I forgot to slice my lemons beforehand (whoops!). So to make up for it I shortened my bake time to 20 minutes, and the chicken came out perfect (or as the husband put it, it came out “bomb!”).
What impressed me most was how easy it was to pull this off! Just a few fresh ingredients, it all took maybe half an hour to come together, and it was seriously yummy. And it brought so much joy to sit down with my husband and enjoy the meal together. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Other recipes and resources you should check out: