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Garlic Braised Chicken with Lentils & Asparagus

Fitastic March 12, 2013

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Serves 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, divided

1 teaspoon minced orange zest, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

10 cloves of garlic, trimmed & bruised with side of knife

2 ½ cup reduced sodium low-fat broth, divided

2/3 cup of brown lentils

1 ½ cup trimmed asparagus pieces

  1. In a large bowl season chicken with 1 teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon orange zest, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in deep 10 inch skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, until it shimmers.  Add chicken and all 10 garlic cloves and cook for 3 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of chicken broth. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and the garlic is soft, about 10 mins.  Transfer chicken plate and cover with foil.
  3. Transfer this braising liquid with garlic into a blender or food processor and puree.  Be careful, its warm! Pour into a small saucepan and keep warm.
  4. In same pan add remaining 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil.  Stir in lentils, cook, covered, over medium-low heat until almost tender, (if needed continue to cook on high heat, uncovered to evaporate excess liquid)
  5. Stir in asparagus, the remaining ½ teaspoon orange zest & black pepper into lentils.  Arrange chicken on top. Cook, covered, until asparagus is crisp and chicken is heated (about 3 mins). Pour garlic sauce over chicken and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme before serving. Yum!!!!

Per serving: 419 calories, 10g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 27g carbohydrate, 55g protein, 6g fiber, 136mg cholesterol, 536mg sodium, 79mg calcium.

In this luscious and earthy dish, a richly flavored garlic sauce coats pieces of gently braised chicken.  Fiber-and-protein packed lentils, flavored with orange zest, complement the chicken both in flavor and texture.  Cooking whole garlic cloves mellows the flavor.



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