One Pot Chili Lime Chicken with Quinoa

I can't remember
where I saw the link to this recipe, but found myself instantly committed to trying it. With all the kids gone, it's just Glen and I for dinner. A one-pot dish that includes vegetables, protein and carbs is an easy choice when I find myself uninspired and unmotivated. Leftovers are used up at lunch, or if enough for another meal - frozen to pull out on a busy future day. 

Many years ago I tried a brand of chili lime chicken wings that were to die for. They had the flavor of real chili peppers and lime. Now the term chili lime seems to refer to the flavors of chili powder, cumin and lime. I would love to find a way to replicate that early flavor in my cooking, but for now am going with the new trend. 

This one pot chicken and quinoa dish from Cookin' Canuck was super easy and filling. This recipe was enough for four smaller servings or three larger ones.  The one thing I felt was lacking was enough salt.  It needed just a bit more to bring out all the flavors. The chili powder and cumin were subtle as well,but built as you ate.  For my tastes, I will probably increase the amount of veggies in it next time. I like way more veggies than meat. 


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One Pot Chili Lime Chicken with Quinoa
from Dara Michalski | Cookin' Canuck

Ingredients -

1 lb.                 Chicken tenders (see note below)
3 tsp                 Olive oil divided
                         Juice of 1 lime divided
2 tsp                 Chili powder divided
1 tsp                 Ground cumin divided
½ tsp                Lime zest
½ tsp                Salt divided (I'll probably increase to 1 tsp next time)
½tsp                 Ground pepper divided
½                     Sweet onion diced
3 cloves           Garlic, minced
8 oz.                 Green beans trimmed & cut in bite size pieces
1                       Yellow or Orange Pepper, seeded and cut in bite size pieces (my addition)
¾ C                  Chopped tomato
¾ C                  Dry quinoa (I like tri-color)
1¾ C                Chicken broth (or vegetable)
3 T                    Minced cilantro for garnish

Instructions -

In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken tenders, 2 teaspoons olive oil, juice of ½ lime, 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, lime zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper. Marinate for 15 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken tenders. Cook for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a plate. (see note)

Reduce the heat to medium and heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes. Add garlic, green beans and pepper. Continue sautéing until the onion is soft and veggies are partly cooked.  Add 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt (or more) and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper. Cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in the quinoa, tomato and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Nestle the chicken tenders into the quinoa mixture and pour in any accumulated juices. Re-cover the skillet and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.(see note)

Squeeze the remaining ½ lime over the mixture, garnish with cilantro and serve.

Note - I honestly quick fried the chicken until most of the pink was gone. then added it to the pan along with the quinoa, tomato and chicken broth. One less step and the dish was fine. Included both techniques so you could decide.