Looking for a healthy camping dinner idea? Allow us to introduce you to this easy, delicious lemon chicken recipe.
Every once in a while, our Healthy Kitchen 101 team will plan a camping trip for the whole crew as a way to clear our minds of the daily stresses of life. Like many other campers, we love being outdoors and enjoying nature. However, we understand how difficult it can be to plan a wholesome meal that is easy to make at camp.
Why is it simple? Because there isn’t much prepping to it. All you have to do is cut the herbs and veggies ahead of time and put everything in a container. Of course, you will have to rinse, pat dry, and keep the raw chicken separately from other ingredients. For food safety, you’ll need to keep these items in the cooler. Other than that, this recipe is a walk in the park.
What goes well with lemon chicken?
To be honest, this recipe is delicious, but it is not complete. Every meal should include equal portions of meat and vegetables. So what kind of greens would go well with this creamy lemon chicken? Fortunately, we know some that might pull the dish together:
- Leafy greens: sautéed spinach, kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard can be the best options to pair with this chicken. If you want to keep it even more straightforward, you can opt for raw veggies. For example, microgreens or arugula with their signature peppery flavor would be able to balance out the rich and creamy sauce.
- Crunchy vegetables: asparagus, green beans, brussel sprouts, or broccoli are both delicious and simple to prep. You can choose to either bake or steam them. Not only will they taste amazing with the sauce, but their crunchy texture will add another dimension to the dish.
- Potatoes: dare I say it, potatoes are so versatile that they can go well with almost any dish you can think of. Smashed or roasted potatoes would be perfect for today’s recipe. And if you’re feeling bold, maybe you should try roasted sweet potatoes for a change. They are perfect for camping as well. All you need to do is to season whole potatoes with salt, pepper, olive oil, and herbs, then cook them on a wire rack over hot coal. Or you can wrap them in tin foil to make baked sweet potatoes. Either way, there will be delicious potatoes to pair with the chicken.
Besides vegetables, rice and pasta can also be served with this lemon chicken recipe. In terms of a balanced, nutritious meal, we recommend only a small portion of the pasta or rice alongside the chicken, with vegetables to make it complete.
Is lemon chicken healthy?
Yes, this recipe is healthy.
Take a look at the list of ingredients below. You’ll notice that besides the chicken, butter, and cream, everything else is vegetation: herbs, spices, and vegetables that help enhance the flavor of the dish. We won’t be using any flour, so if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you’re good to go.
There is no added sugar as well, making this a low-carb recipe, perfect for low-carb dieters. The amount of carbs might vary, though, as it depends on what side dish you decide to serve with the chicken. Carrots and tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes often have a high carbohydrate content, potentially messing with your low-carb diet. So do keep an eye on the side dish.
Another thing to pay attention to is the level of saturated fat. Although the saturated fat in this recipe is still within your recommended daily consumption, you can replace the heavy cream with half-and-half to cut it down. For more information, here’s an article on facts about saturated fat and how much you should eat per day.
In case you’re planning nutritious meals for your next camping trip, here is a collection of healthy camping recipes that are both simple and delicious. Feel free to peruse! Now then, shall we begin?
Lemon Chicken Recipe
- 24 oz skinless boneless chicken breast 4 medium breasts
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp garlic minced, divided
- 1 tbsp shallot
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dill
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
- 5 lemon slices
- Brine the chicken breasts and pat dry. Split each breast halfway to form a pocket.
- Make the marinade mixture from: kosher salt, ground black pepper, dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with the marinade mixture on both sides and inside of the pockets. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken to the pan and sear the first side for 10 minutes until golden brown. Flip them over and spend about 8 minutes to sear the other side. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate, set aside.
- In the same pan, add shallots, 1 teaspoon of garlic, and butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir them around for about 1 minute.
- Add flour in, stir for 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth in. Let simmer and whisk for 2 minutes.
- Add whole milk in, stir for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken breasts back in, following with heavy cream.
- Add lemon juice in, whisk gently and let simmer for 3 minutes so the cream comes in harmony with the rest.
- Add lemon slices to the pan for fragrance.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh dill, parsley, and red pepper flakes on top, let them sit on the heat for extra 2 minutes.