Fantastic for lunch

Today I had the simplest, most deliciousest lunch ever. (Yes, I just coined a new word and used it incorrectly. Sue me.)

I started with half a chicken breast. Mine was from a local farm that raises the most delectable free-range chickens — I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to eat meat, you have a responsibility to make sure that the critters you eat had good lives before they found their way to your table.

I put the chicken breast in my small frying pan, covered it, and cooked it on medium heat until I could hear it sizzle. At that point, I raised the lid and drizzled a couple tablespoons of chicken broth over it. I did that again once or twice, then turned the breast and repeated on the other side. I removed the chicken to a plate, leaving the pan with a lovely layer of carmelized chicken juices.

I deglazed the pan with 1/2 cup chicken broth, then tossed in a fist-sized snowball of frozen chopped spinach. (I roughly estimate this was about 3/4 cup.) I put the lid back on for a bit; when I looked again, the spinach had defrosted.

I stirred in 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I use garlic by the cupful, so I buy it pre-minced in really big jars) and the leftover brown rice from yesterday’s lunch (again, I estimate it was about 3/4 cup). I turned off the heat while I cut up the chicken, and the mixture was warmed through by the time I plated it with the chicken. The flavor was indescribably fantastic! (I realize “fantastic” is a description of sorts, but I’m thinking of it more as a noun, as in “I had fantastic for lunch today.”)

If you’ve already had lunch today, be sure to put fantastic on your menu for tomorrow!

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8 responses to “Fantastic for lunch

  1. I have NOT had lunch yet, today.
    My lunch, today, is organic peanut butter on whole wheat with the very last bit of homemade strawberry jam from last summer…from the farm down the road…
    but your chicken dish sounds like The Awesomesauce.
    blessings
    jane

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      Isn’t it funny how we forget that everyone doesn’t live in the same time zone as we do? Rather, I should say that I always forget. Aren’t you glad I don’t have your phone number?

      Mmmm — homemade strawberry jam on whole wheat (with or without peanut butter) sounds like dessert to me! Very yummy! Too bad I ate all the chicken; I’d offer to swap you halfsies. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes for lunch, which is our main meal. Your chicken with spinach and brown rice sounds fantastic indeed! Blessings to you, Jennifer…

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      “Recipe” seems like too strong a word…but I hope it might inspire you to whip up something simple and delicious of your own.

      (I forgot to mention that I was listening to a very engrossing radio show while preparing this, so my sense of the time involved is skewed. I suspect the reason it was so unexpectedly tasty is that the broth and chicken juices got reduced to their yummiest essence.)

      Happy cooking and eating!

  3. Let’s see…. Lunch at work today was the last piece of Domino’s pizza that Joshua took to school the other day (on a monkey ice pack). He says I didn’t remove all of the pineapple from it so he didn’t eat it. (It all began on day 1 of this poor pizza slice a few days ago…. After the kids’-choice pepperoni pizza was gone, Holly picked and ate the pepperoni off this poor piece from Daddy’s pepperoni & pineapple pizza.) So, Joshua agreed to take this pepperoni-less cheese pizza slice (apparently with stray pineapple (canned, I’m sure! – straight from a Domino’s pantry)). I also ate the reheated cold hotdog in a bun that Joshua took to school the next day (yes, on a monkey ice pack) and did not eat because, well, I’m not sure…. And to complete the story, Joshua didn’t eat his half PB&J today because he “wasn’t hungry” (translated: he doesn’t like PB&J). (It’s almost 9 PM and he IS hungry now….) Yes, there is much drama around my picky eaters. Who doesn’t like Pb&J? I topped off lunch with a juicy orange off of the tree in my California backyard! (Now all I need is a piece of chocolate nut mayonnaise cake and a healthy meal.)

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      What an epic pizza saga! If I hadn’t already eaten the chicken with spinach/rice, I’d send it to you. (You could eat it while I baked you a mayonnaise cake — must feed the sense of humor as well as the body, you know!) The orange sounds luscious, though — from your own back yard? Sweet! 🙂

      Hey, d’ya think the kids would eat spinach/rice with chicken? You could leave out the spinach if you had to — EVERYONE eats chicken and rice! (I suspect that even vegetarians eat chicken with rice now and then, but don’t tell them I said so.)

  4. Yes! Joshua ate egg rice and chicken last night. I have learned to cook egg rice (kid phrase for fried rice) since marrying a Filipino. Holly prefers the healthy egg rice – made with brown rice. Joshua and Conrad prefer the jasmine white egg rice…. I’ve been known to make both on the same day from time to time. I still prefer mashed potatoes…. You can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can’t take the Midwest out of the girl!

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Three cheers for egg rice and chicken! (Hip, hip, etc.)

      Despite being born and bred in the Midwest, I’ve never been a huge fan of mashed potatoes. I’m more of a bread girl: biscuits, rolls, fresh-baked bread, and stuff made out of bread — sage dressing, bread pudding, etc. I recently learned that my dad’s sister is allergic to potatoes, and my mother’s grandfather was a baker, so maybe there’s something genetic to my tastes?

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