All hail the baked chicken breast, the reigning queen of meal prep perfection!
I use my fair share of chicken breast when making my work lunches on any given week – it’s a lean protein that always leaves me feeling full, satisfied, and energized – and it’s so easy to dress up with any flavor, especially as the seasons change. Over this relatively chilly spring that’s been hanging over NYC – the high is supposed to only be 59°F on Wednesday, JUNE 7TH – I’ve been using many warming spices when dressing my breasts…heheh…such as turmeric and cumin. If the weather won’t bring that summery feeling to our city right now, I’ll at least jump start it with some bright summery flavors.
This recipe is a take on an Inspiralized recipe from last month, Lemon-Herb Chicken with Roasted Artichoke and Zucchini Pasta with Feta. I made it a handful of times and it’s delicious! I am a huge fan of spiralizing my vegetables and do it multiple times a week; it’s great for meal prep! That being said…sometimes…I’m too lazy to pull out my spiralizer and my urge to use my big chef’s knife to chunk up some vegetables gives me more satisfaction. Ha! So this recipe is a non-spiralized adaptation of that original excellent spiralized recipe. I ditched the feta and added some different spices, but the magic in both recipes, I believe, comes from the vegetables. The liquid from them helps keep the chicken breast incredibly juicy; as I use boneless for this recipe, keeping in moisture is very important, as bone-in chicken does yield a naturally moister meat.
This is great for meal prep because a 12 – 16 ounce chicken breast will yield four 3 – 4 oz. servings of chicken and a nice serving of vegetables for each; I do supplement mine with some more vegetables or a grain, which is my hot tip to you! Some brown rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower would be an awesome accompaniment!
Baked Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon, & Zucchini
(Adapted from the Inspiralized recipe for Lemon-Herb Chicken with Roasted Artichoke and Zucchini Pasta with Feta)
– One 3/4 lb. – 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
– 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided into two 1 tablespoon servings
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 large or 2 medium zucchinis, rinsed and diced
– 1 cup canned quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon turmeric
– Salt, to taste
Before We Get Started…
– A rectangular baking dish works well here, such as an 11″ x 7″, though a small square baking dish (8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″) will also work well.
– A good “duh” statement, but if you can’t find quartered canned artichoke hearts, buy whole ones and quarter them yourselves. If you buy artichoke hearts marinated in oil, it’s up to you whether you want to rinse off the marinade or not; I prefer to use canned artichoke hearts that come packed in water.
1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.) Place chicken in baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper and spread / massage into chicken breast. Don’t forget to wash your hands once you’re done! (Infection control!)
3.) In a large bowl, toss zucchini and artichoke hearts with lemon juice, garlic powder, and turmeric until well combined. Place vegetable mixture on top of chicken; vegetables should cover as much chicken as possible.
4.) Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165°F. Remove from oven; if some of the artichoke pieces have slightly browned or crisped, that is fine! (And delicious!) Allow chicken to sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.