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In my ongoing quest to create tasty meals for the hubby while he continues on his diet I made him a chicken dish the other night that we both enjoyed. As I’ve mentioned before I can’t use any fats when making these meals for him so I have to get flavor in other ways. In this case I was starting with a quality protein – I was using Zaycon’s chicken. I am just so impressed with how good this chicken tastes – and this is from a woman who has been butchering her own free range birds for the last few years!
This meal is not hard to make at all but it packs a LOT of flavor thanks to the thyme, garlic and the balsamic reduction. The hubby loves vinegar that has been where I have turned most often for strong flavors in these diet meals. In this case I just took a regular balsamic, reduced it to a syrupy consistency but added a liberal amount of freshly ground pepper for a delicious “sauce” on the roasted chicken breast. It wasn’t a lot of sauce by virtue of the amount I could use calorie wise but it packed a lot of punch. I rounded out the meal with some snow peas and an orange and he was very happy. It came in at 2 calories under his 350 calorie limit.
Thyme and Garlic Roasted Chicken with a Peppered Balsamic Reduction
8 oz chicken breast, trimmed of fat and sliced
1 large bunch fresh thyme (or frozen as mine was)
4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
4 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 tsp freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
side vegetable – I served snow peas but broccoli, green beans, cabbage or any vegetable that comes in at 40 calories for 3.5 oz will work
Preheat oven to 350°
Place half of the thyme and lay it on the bottom of a roasting dish. Sprinkle half of the minced garlic over top. Season the chicken breast slices with salt and arrange them on top of the thyme and garlic so they don’t overlap. Sprinkle the remaining garlic and lay the rest of the thyme on top. Cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.
Prepare your side vegetable – I roasted the snow peas in a little sprinkle of rice vinegar with salt. They were done at the same time the chicken was done. If you are making a different vegetable it might take longer so prepare it in advance if necessary.
While the chicken is cooking pour the balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add the pepper and some salt and adjust the seasonings to your taste. Set aside. Do not let it cook too far past syrup or you will have toffee…don’t ask how I know this.
When the chicken is finished plate the low calorie meal: place 1/2 cup of hot Jasmine rice and top with 3.5 oz of chicken. (Dispose of the thyme sprigs.). Add 3.5 oz of the vegetable on the side. Drizzle 1 1/2 TBS of the syrup over the chicken. Serve with a small orange for dessert and this meal comes in at just under the 350 calorie limit. For the second meal use 1 cup of Jasmine rice, the rest of the chicken and vinegar syrup and the remaining vegetables. Have cake for dessert if you would like 🙂
Hubby REALLY enjoyed this one – he said it didn’t taste like a diet meal and given that I ate the same thing with him he was thrilled. I loved it too! The chicken was moist and tender; the garlic and thyme were infused within the meat and the balsamic syrup was slightly sweet with a peppery bite. All in all a meal I will repeat.
I do recommend the chicken breasts from Zaycon. If they come to your area they are available in 40lb boxes. They come fresh from the farm and you can pack them up as you see fit. The breasts are very big – in fact one tends to feed the two of us for two different meals. They have delicious flavor unlike some chicken that tastes like well, nothing. If you use this link: https://www.zayconfoods.com/refer/zf237258 to sign up I do get a small referral fee. They also sell burger, pork, ham (DIVINE) and a long list of tasty products. Check them out!
Disclosure: I did received free Zaycon chicken but it is YUMMY chicken. All opinions are my honest opinions.