One-pot meals are wonderful solutions to your evening dinnertime frenzy, and are quickly becoming a favorite of home chefs everywhere. When using a singular homestyle skillet, not only do you end up washing only one pot, and therefore, cutting down on your clean-up time, but you’re also allowing all of the flavors of your meal to mingle in one place, enriching one another and enhancing the overall meal.
This One Pot Balsamic Chicken, Carrots, and Lentils meal is a truly warming and satisfying dish that offers both sophistication and nutrition. Chicken is a terrific source of lean protein and lentils are packed with protein and fiber, making them a complex carbohydrate to feel good about. Lentils are also rich in iron, which many of us lack in our daily diets. Carrots lend vitamin A and beta-carotene, rounding out this healthful meal.
Balsamic vinegar, with its sweet, zesty taste, boosts this dish’s flavor profile. Its slight acidity balances out the sweet carrots and mellow chicken and lentils. Adding a bit of garlic takes this dinner to a new level, and earthy celery and bay leaves round it out nicely. This is a meal that is easy enough to prepare on a weeknight, but impressive enough to serve to guests. Try it out for your next dinner party, or just as a healthy weeknight dinner.
Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe | Calories: 363 | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 95 mg | Sodium: 153 mg | Carbohydrates: 41 g | Dietary Fiber: 14 g | Sugars: 10 g | Protein: 34 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9
- 1-1/2 pound chicken thighs, skinless
- 8 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 medium onions, divided (1/2 finely chopped, 1-1/2 sliced)
- 5 small carrots, divided (1 peeled and finely chopped, 4 peeled and left whole)
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
- 7 ounces dried lentils (if using pre-cooked canned ones, lessen the cooking time)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- Make surface-deep slashes on the chicken then coat them in 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground pepper. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, sautè the garlic and 1/2 onion that has been finely chopped. After tossing for about 2 minutes, add 1 carrot that has been finely chopped, celery and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the lentils and toss for 1 minute in the saucepan. Pour the broth and add the bay leaves, let it boil and cook for 30 minutes (much less if using pre-cooked canned ones) or until they are tender. If they are drying up, add more hot broth or hot water. Season with salt and pepper. When they are cooked, set them aside in a bowl.
- Wipe the saucepan with a paper towel to prepare cooking the chicken and carrots. Over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, cook the chicken with the balsamic vinegar you coated it with. Brown both sides. Half-way through cooking the chicken, add the remaining 4 whole carrots. Cook until tender.
- Push the chicken on one side of the saucepan and the carrots in another side. Leave space for the lentils, onions and tomatoes. Place the onions in one side of the saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the lentils on one side of the saucepan and cook some more for 2 minutes to warm it up. Place the tomatoes in the saucepan. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve while hot.
Here are more delicious chicken and vegetable recipes to try:
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