Thyme Braised Chicken
Updated: Sep 23
Over the weekend I decided that I was over this ISO food bullshit - yes I hit rock bottom with frustration and continually eating for the sake of eating and of course eating all the wrong things. Don't get me wrong breakfasts and lunches have been controlled and good but dinner has become a food feast with us cooking, I guess, foods to make us happy and not necessarily the best for us. In fact, about 6 weeks ago I banned myself from making bread as all I did was eat it once freshly baked with lashings of Irish Butter!
The menu planner was done properly on Saturday - with foods sourced from my gorgeous cookbooks (one of my prides in life is my bookshelf full of cookbooks - nerdy I know but I love the feel of reading a book so it may as well be a cookbook), the WW app and of course, online searching. Do you menu plan? I do religiously every week but this week it just got serious.
My mindset required being challenged and being changed. I guess I have just let the last few months of Melbourne life get me to a frame of mind I actually felt depressed by. So I knew that there was something I needed to do to not only make myself feel better mentally and emotionally but to also focus on my health. My weight, the last few months, has been up and down more than the blind in my bedroom and to be fair, I am just over feeling this way.
Anyways enough about me! Lets talk about the food - I mean that's the only reason you are visiting me, right? LOL!
Thyme would have to be one of my favourite herbs to use in cooking, in fact I always have fresh thyme on hand to use in various styles of cooking. It's a very hardy herb and one of the most commonly used. While it is mainly used for culinary purposes from history (and Wikipedia) we can learn that Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing it was a source of courage. The spread of thyme throughout Europe was thought to be due to the Romans, as they used it to purify their rooms and to "give an aromatic flavour to cheese and liqueurs". In the European Middle Ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. In this period, women also often gave knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves, as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer. Thyme was also used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals, as it was supposed to assure passage into the next life.
Now with all of this in mind I'd like to introduce you to this very tasty and comforting one pot wonder which is perfect for a mid week dinner but would also be decadent enough if you want to impress guests. The juicy chicken fillet, smothered in a creamy, yet delicate. thyme and mustard laced sauce, was to die for. And while the sauce used light cream and stock as a base you would not even think that this recipe was not on healthy but good for your hips also.
On the table within the hour from prep to plate, this recipe will not disappoint.
Thyme Braised Chicken
(recipe adapted from WW online)
💚 7 sp per serve
💙 4 sp per serve
💜 4 sp per serve
4 chicken breast fillets, trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium brown onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoon plain flour
125ml chicken stock
1/3 cup light thickened cream
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
4 sprigs fresh thyme plus 1 tsp to serve
400 gram can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced.
Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
Add oil to a large dutch oven or stove/oven proof casserole dish. Cook chicken, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Using the same dish over medium heat, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and cook stirring, for 5 minutes until browned.
Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Gradually add stock, stirring, until combined.
Add cream, mustard and thyme sprigs and bring to the boil.
Return chicken to dish, turning to coat in stock mixture. 3 Bake, covered, for 25 - 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce slightly reduces.
Add beans, if using, and stir to combine. Serve sprinkled with extra thyme.
Serve with steamed vegetables such as broccoli and sugar snap peas. We also had plain gluten free pasta on the side (additional smart points added).