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Poached Chicken Breasts
with Shallot, Thyme Reduction

No extra fat. No extra salt. Lots of flavor. This recipe has everything you could want for a healthy, simple meal that you can prepare with a bit of preparation.

Par boiling the brussel sprouts and asparagus allows you to roast them quickly under your broiler. Normally, you avoid cooking fresh vegetables in even a small amount of water because it removes important nutrients. You’ll use this broth in your sauce, though, and you’ll only partially cook the vegetables.

Ingredients:

Vegetables:
  • 24 brussels sprouts
  • 16-18 stalks of asparagus
  • 2 cups of water
  • Olive oil
  • Ground pepper and low-sodium sea salt to taste.

Chicken and Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup additional low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 4 full sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of corn starch
  • 2 pats of butter (if desired for extra richness)

Preparation:

Vegetables
Clean and halve the brussels sprouts. Rinse and cut off the tough ends of the asparagus. In a 14-inch flat bottom pan, bring two cups of water to a boil. Cook the sprouts for three to four minutes. Remove them and set aside. Cook the asparagus in the same water for two to three minutes. Remove and set aside. Leave any bits of vegetables in the water.

Place the vegetables on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Spray lightly with olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Time this next step so your roasted vegetables are done at the same time as the chicken.

Place the cookie sheet with the vegetables in your oven. Set the oven to 350 degrees. When the oven reaches temperature, turn your broiler on high and roast the vegetables, turning once, until they are as golden brown or as toasted as you like them.

For a variation, sprinkle the vegetables with a little balsamic vinegar or parmesan cheese.

Chicken
Use the water from the vegetables above as your sauce base.

Cut the shallots and garlic into chunks and add to the broth. Add full sprigs of thyme and rosemary into the broth. Grind fresh pepper into the mix. 

Simmer until this mixture has reduced by half. Add the chicken stock. Bring mixture to a slow boil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cover. Simmer for about ten minutes. If the chicken breasts are white (cooked on the outside), flip and simmer for about eight minutes. When you flip the chicken breasts be sure to have some of the herbs rest on top of them for rich flavor.

Check the internal temperature of the chicken breast with an instant-read meat thermometer. Temperature should be at least 165 degrees. If not, flip and cook about four minutes extra per side until temperature is reached.

Remove chicken breasts and keep them warm.

Turn up the heat! Reduce the remaining liquid and herbs until you have about 2/3 cup of sauce. Remove the stems from the rosemary and thyme. (Leaves should have fallen off during cooking.)

Mix the corn starch with the extra broth. Add half to the liquid and boil. If the sauce is too thin, add more of the corn starch mixture. Be careful. It’s easy to get the sauce too thick.

For a slightly richer sauce, stir the butter into the sauce.

Slice the chicken breasts across the grain of the meat (the short way). Display nicely on a plate with rice and vegetables. Drizzle the sauce over the meat and rice.


Recipe contest: share your favorite, original, healthy recipe
Since eating right is so much easier when the food tastes great, I've started a reader recipe contest. E-mail an original healthy recipe to me at garrett@gwgswims.com

 

Athletic Foodie




 

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