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Lemon Thyme Chicken
with rice / asparagus

Active: 40 minTotal: 40 min
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For this elevated chicken and rice dinner, chicken is simmered in a broth that gets big flavor from pancetta, fresh thyme and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The no-fuss pan sauce that results is great spooned over rice.


Lemon Thyme Chicken:
  • Rice, white or brown - 3/4 cup
  • Onions, small - 1/2, chopped
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
  • Pancetta (sub bacon) - 2 oz, chopped
  • Lemons - 1, wedges
  • Chicken thighs, boneless (with or without skin) - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup
  • Thyme, fresh - 4 stalks
Asparagus with Crispy Pancetta:
  • Pancetta (sub bacon) - 2 oz, chopped
  • Asparagus - 1 lb, trimmed
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Cook rice - Double if making Wednesday’s meal. For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Onions / Garlic / Pancetta (for both the chicken and asparagus) - Prep as directed. Combine onions and portion of pancetta for chicken in one container. Store garlic and pancetta for asparagus in two separate containers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Lemon / Asparagus - Prep as directed. Store in separate containers. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  4. Chicken - Season with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add cooking oil. When oil is hot, sear chicken until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Return skillet to heat and reduce to medium heat. Add pancetta (just the portion for the chicken) and onion. Saute until onion is soft, ~3 minutes. Add garlic and paprika and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute more. Add stock and thyme sprigs, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Return chicken thighs to pan and reduce heat to low-medium. Cover with a lid and simmer on low (don't let the liquid boil or the meat will turn tough) until chicken is cooked through, ~8 minutes (internal temperature will be 165F / 74C).
  4. Heat a second skillet or large frying pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. To hot oil, add the rest of the pancetta and saute until pancetta is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter and asparagus to pancetta. Cook, turning asparagus every couple minutes until asparagus is cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes (depending on thickness of spears).
  5. If rice was made ahead and refrigerated, reheat it briefly in the microwave or in a saute pan with some oil over medium heat just to take the chill off. (If you made double the rice, remember to save half for Wednesday.)
  6. Squeeze a couple lemon wedges over chicken and asparagus (serve remaining lemon wedges with the finished dish). Taste and season both dishes with some salt and pepper.
  7. Serve chicken over rice with asparagus on the side. Enjoy!

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This meal has 72 reviews

We enjoyed this dish. Contrary to some of the reviews - I did not think it was too greasy or salty, but we made 3 changes. #1 I used Whole30 compliant bacon which cut down salt and grease. #2 I cut out the EVOO on the bacon/asparagus combo as the grease from the bacon and butter was enough. #3 Low sodium chicken stock. It does require a little work and skill in the kitchen balancing your time - make sure you prep ahead to save some time and cauliflower rice takes literally 3-5 minutes so do this last and in the pan you made the bacon/asparagus in to soak up the flavors.

By: Candice
Posted: Jan 04, 2019
Diet: Paleo

This dish was incredibly greasy and also too salty.

By: Kathryn
Posted: Apr 09, 2018
Diet: Original

OMG! So good!

By: Melanie
Posted: Nov 02, 2016
Diet: Original

This was fine, just didn't blow me away

By: Jenna
Posted: Aug 12, 2016
Diet: Original

The dish was very salty, even with low sodium broth. The chicken was ok. The asparagus was pretty good so it wasn't a total wash.

By: c
Posted: Jul 08, 2016
Diet: Original

This dish required a lot of work and it tasted kinda blah. It was too greasy with all the panchetta.

By: Melinda
Posted: Jun 30, 2016
Diet: Original