My goal for this week’s dishes is to lighten up the meals, and try to keep each dinner under 500 calories per serving. According to the original recipe, this is approx. 417 calories per serving, not including the rice. 1/2C cooked jasmine rice is 90 calories. Not bad for my first attempt.
This recipe is my modified version of Skillet Chicken with Seared Avocados which I found on Cooking Light. The changes I’ve made are nothing major, just focused on things my family likes or doesn’t like. The picture above is the dish about to go in the oven, so if the chicken looks undercooked, it is.
INGREDIENTS for 4 Servings:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt, pepper & chili powder, to taste
- 2 ripe avocados, split, pit removed, skinned and cut into quarters
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 red onions, sliced into 1/4″ slices
- 1 poblano pepper, sliced into rings
- 1 yellow or orange sweet pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
- 1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Cilantro and lime wedges (optional)
- 2 tbsp. low-fat sour cream mixed with 1 tbsp. water
Today I used olive oil, but next time will try avocado oil for flavor.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Put the cast iron skillet on the stove top and add the oil, heating it. To tell if it’s hot enough, you can put the top handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. It will bubble up around the wood. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and a little chili powder. Place them into the skillet, seasoned side down for 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook 2 minutes more. Remove them from the pan. They will not be fully cooked, but will finish cooking in the oven.
Take the sugar and using your fingers, sprinkle it over the cut edges of the avocado. This is just to help them sear, then place them into the pan with a cut edge down and cook until it starts to darken, then flip to the other edge and do the same. Now remove them to the same dish as the chicken.
Just a few more steps for this one pan dish. Take the onion rings and lay them in a single layer in the hot pan. Again, we’re trying to just sear them so cook them a minute or two on each side on high heat. Once they are done, add the 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes, poblano and yellow sweet peppers. Stir them once or twice, separating the onion rings as you do. As soon as the other peppers begin to cook, again, just a couple of minutes, we’re ready to finish this up. Add the lime juice and soy sauce to the pan, then take the chicken breasts and avocado and nestle them into the onion and pepper mixture. Place the entire pan into the preheated oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Do not overcook. Serve with rice and a sliced lime.
The original recipe called for a couple of things. It called for finely chopping up cilantro and sprinkling it over the dish, which I did not do, and diluting low-fat sour cream with a little water and drizzling it over the dish, which I did use. My family and I do not care for cilantro much, which is why I omitted it, and found the sour cream really did nothing for the flavor of the dish, though it did add to the presentation. Next time I will omit the sour cream drizzle. Daisy Low-fat sour cream has 40 calories for 2 tbsp., so, if we remove the sour cream drizzle, this recipe comes to 417 + 90 – 10 = 497 calories/serving, and under my 500 calories for dinner. Woo-hoo!!
I served the dish with plain jasmine rice tonight.
My suggestions — when making the rice, include the juice of 2 limes in with the broth, and some lime zest, as well as 1/4 cup or so of finely chopped cilantro to 2 cups uncooked rice. I would use a little less cilantro for my family, but the lime cilantro rice will complement the flavors of the chicken, peppers and onions.