Lucky Number 13!

Lemon Thyme Chicken w/ Spinach & Pea Pilaf 2

Cookbook Challenge book #13, Lean Food by The Australian Women’s Weekly, has delivered to my table a delicious (I use this word waaay too much don’t I?) AND healthy chicken dish that is full of wonderful flavour. What more could you ask for from a cookbook? Light & fruity desserts? Hell, it’s got them too!

One thing that does annoy me about this book is the limited nutritional information, with only fat, kj & calorie information shown… In my view (which may be biased not only by the fact that I am studying nutrition, but also by the fact that I am diabetic and find it frustrating when the carbohydrate information is missing) if a book is going to have nutritional information it should have the basics all listed (fat/kj, carbohydrates, protein & sodium)… I think that magazine and cookbook editors forget that some people are counting more than kilojoules, in fact (shock, horror) some people don’t care about the fat content of their meal!… but you know what – they may have diabetes and find the carbohydrate information VERY useful, or perhaps they have hypertension and need to watch their salt intake… what is most annoying in all of this is that most nutritional calculating programs will provide all of these figures (and plenty more), in fact I haven’t come accross one yet that ONLY provides fat and kj information… so clearly it is either due to pure laziness/time constraints that it isn’t included, in which case I would argue it wouldn’t take long to add a few extra figures in a well set-up template… or possibly for aesthetic reasons, which is a bit weak considering the design issues are put aside to include the fat and kj figures… either way, it is one of my pet hates, if you are going to pretend to get all technical and health conscious and show nutritional information – Do it properly!!

OK, that’s the end of my rant. Even without the carbohydrate information this meal was still delicious. I only had dried thyme, which still tasted fine, but I can imagine it would have even more flavour and oomph with fresh thyme. I also had no brown rice, so I used long grain white instead (which took much less time & much less liquid to cook than the recipe states, so follow the packet directions for that). When I looked in the freezer to make this I realised we only had minted frozen peas, which I wasn’t quite sure about, but I wasn’t about to go out to the supermarket just to get plain ones. They actually worked quite well with the other flavours, so that was a nice fluke. This, along with the dessert I made managed to use up 4 of the lemons that Geoff’s parents gave us… it feels so good to be thrifty like that!

Lemon Thyme Chicken w/ Spinach & Pea Pilaf Serves 4

Lemon Thyme Chicken w/ Spinach & Pea Pilaf 1

Combine 4 x 170g skinless chicken breast fillets (I only had large ones, so I halved 2 of them to make 4 smaller fillets), 1Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme, 2tsp finely grated lemon rind, 1Tbsp lemon juice & 1Tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl. Toss to coat chicken, cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Heat another 1Tbsp olive oil in a large, deep, non-stick frying pan, add 1 large thinly sliced brown onion & 1 crushed garlic clove and cook, stirring, until onion softens. Add 1 1/2C long grain brown rice and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 1/2C water & 3C salt reduced chicken stock (I used around 3C of liquid in total for my white rice) and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. (This took my white rice about 20-25 minutes)

Meanwhile, cook chicken on a heated, lightly oiled grill plate (I just did mine in a regular frying pan), until browned on both sides and cooked through. Cover, stand for 5 minutes and then slice thickly. Stir 150g baby spinach leaves, 1C thawed frozen peas, 2tsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme & 1Tbsp finely grated lemon rind into pilaf and divide among serving plates. Top with sliced chicken.

Time to move on to Cookbook Challenge Book #14, which has been chosen as ‘The Delia Collection: Soup’ by Delia Smith. I know I have already cooked a soup out of this one, so I am going to share it on Sunday, for Soup Sunday. See you then!

What do you think?