Friday, March 14, 2014

Lemon-Pepper Chicken with Vegan Lemon-Butter Sauce

This recipe was a combination of a couple different recipes I found on Pinterest.  As I always do, I tweaked them a bit to match our family's tastes, likes and needs.

I've recently needed to remove dairy from my diet.  It's been a difficult, but totally rewarding experience.  The difficult part is learning to adjust to new products and how to adjust well-loved recipes to accommodate my new dietary lifestyle.  The rewarding part has been feeling SO much better everyday & losing some weight (always good!).

I was craving a lemony, Spring-time, pasta dish yesterday. This recipe is lemony, silky, and perfect for spring!

Lemon-Pepper Chicken with Vegan Lemon-Butter Sauce
1 recipe (5-6 chicken breasts) of CrockPot Prepped Chicken with lemon-pepper seasoning
                                                            (recipe here)
16 ozs angel hair pasta (pick your favorite brand/style)
2 heads of fresh broccoli, trimmed to florets
1 to 1 1/2 cups cold vegan butter spread (see picture/notes below), cut into chunks (you can use real butter too)
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth (or white wine)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper

Earlier, prepare 1 recipe of CrockPot Prepped Chicken with lemon-pepper seasoning. Cut chicken into chunks.  Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the vegan butter spread in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the wine/chicken broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds, about 5 minutes.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Cook broccoli florets in the same pot as the pasta.

Reduce the heat to its very lowest setting. Slowly whisk in butter, one piece at a time, letting the first addition melt before adding more butter, until sauce is thickened & silky. (The amount of butter will vary.)  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

If you've prepped the chicken on another day & you need to heat it, add it to the sauce during the last few minutes and allow the chicken to heat through.

Place cooked pasta and broccoli on platter or in a pasta bowl.  Top with chicken and spoon sauce over chicken and pasta.

If desired:  squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon over the dish & sprinkle with freshly-chopped italian parsley.

Enjoy!  :)


This is a new product for me - and I LOVE it!  If you're making this recipe non-dairy/vegan, you'll need a product like this.  The important part (besides being lactose free, vegan, etc) is the 78% vegetable oil.  You need the high fat content to get the silky feel of butter and to achieve that same silkiness in your sauce.

This stuff tastes, feels and cooks like real butter!  It's expensive so I recommend a product like Smart Balance for everyday stuff like toast, but for cooking and baking this product is totally worth it.  (No, I don't have a sponsorship - I just like telling you about products I like/love.)

CrockPot-Prepped Chicken

 (See post above for the recipe pictured - Lemon-Pepper Chicken with Vegan Lemon-Butter Sauce)

I've posted before about having pre-cooked, cubed chicken on-hand for those nights when you don't have a lot of time & need chicken for a stir-fry or casserole.  I've tried a few different ways of prepping chicken - poaching it, roasting it, even grilling it... But this method is BY FAR my favorite!  Just pop them in after lunch & they're ready for dinner.

Prepping your chicken in the crock pot is not only super simple, it's moist, flavorful & super delish!

You can use any flavor of spices - the basic recipe stays the same.  Try lemon-pepper, garlic, Italian, Mexican, Cajun, regular seasoned salt (like Emeril's Essence or Lawry's), or just plain salt & pepper (not all together, obviously).  Whatever will match the meal you have planned.  I like using the salt-free spice mixes best.  They keep your sodium intake down & still gives you lots of flavor.

CrockPot Prepped Chicken
5-6 boneless chicken breasts (or 7-8 boneless thighs)
about 4 Tblsp your favorite spice
8 ozs chicken broth

  • Preheat your CrockPot to LOW.  Pour in 8 ozs (or half a standard-size can) of chicken broth. (Pour the other half-can into a ziplock bag & put it into your freezer to freeze.  You can use it next time you're prepping chicken.)
  • Hand-trim fat & unwanted parts from your chicken breasts/thighs & discard the unwanted portions.  Cut the trimmed breasts in half horizontally (not length-wise).  You can decide if you want to half the thighs - you want the pieces to be just smaller than your palm.  Place them in a single layer in the CrockPot.
  • Sprinkle spices over chicken.
  • Cover & cook on LOW about 5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through & broth is almost totally gone.

Serve as whole pieces or cut into chunks to save for future recipes.

** I've added aromatics too - like sliced lemons, garlic cloves, or herbs to match the spices I've chosen, but these aren't necessary.  If you decide to use them, just lay them on top of the chicken after you've sprinkled the spices.


Kathryn  :)


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