Posted by Megan | Chicken, Dinner, Meat

Whew, what a week it’s been! We snuck away to Disney World last weekend with Courtney and are still recovering from our Epcot food comas. Between our Disney trip and Courtney offloading all of her food onto us before her move later this week, we have ended up with a lot of eating out/easy cook meals on our hands. Thus, we haven’t been doing much cooking ourselves! However, lucky for you all, I hadn’t finished this post up before leaving town and can share it with you now.
This chicken is a little involved, but totally worth the end result, especially if you have fresh mint on hand! If you check out the original recipe, you will also find a slow cooker version that I would imagine tastes just as good. We really enjoyed the sweet fragrance of the mint, combined with the tartness of the lemon flavor, all salted down a bit. It was a multi-tastebud inducing flavor palette, with everything that was being eaten, yet nothing was too overpowering. We made some rice to extend the lifespan of this dish to enjoy it for lunch after having it for dinner for two nights, and that actually worked out pretty well. If you’ve got the time and the mint, I definitely recommend this dish!

Cooking Notes: Will halved the recipe, for the most part. He also already had some slow cooked chickpeas, which was about 1-2 cans worth, so he got to skip a pre-soaking step (not included). Fresh dill is not something we have in our herb garden, so he used about 1 tsp worth of dried. And lastly, our food processor broke (RIP our dear beloved food processor), so everything was hand chopped roughly.

Mint Pesto Chicken (adapted from The Kitchn; serves 4)
1/2 lb. small white beans
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 lemon
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Fresh ground salt & pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp dried dill
2 packed cups of mint leaves
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh ground salt & pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are tender and the onion is nearly translucent. Add the beans and stir to coat the beans with the garlic, onion, and oil. Turn off the heat.

Taking a sharp veggie peeler, carefully peel about half the lemon into wide strips, making sure you only peel the top layer (not the white pith). Add the lemon shaves to the beans and stir. Juice the lemon and add juice to the beans.

Pat the chicken dry and lightly S&P it. Lay it on top of the beans in the Dutch oven. Add water until it covers the beans and comes up to just below the chicken.Lay the thyme sprigs on top, turn the heat on high and bring the water to a simmer. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are very tender and creamy.

While the chicken is baking, make the pesto! Chop and blend all the ingredients together, as best as possible (preferably in a food processor). Leave out or refrigerate until chicken is ready.

Once the chicken is done, remove the lid from the pot and take out the chicken, putting it to the side on a plate. Remove the thyme stalks. Zest and juice the shaved lemon, stirring the zest and juice plus the dill, into the beans. Shred or chop the chicken and place it back on top of the beans. Top with the minto pesto and serve! Best served with a scoop of beans topped by the chicken, dolloped with pesto. Can also be served over rice, to make larger servings.

Recipe: The Kitchn: Lemon Braised Chicken with Mint Pesto


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