Mediterranean Chicken Breasts

I’ve talked a lot about how it took me a long to settle down in Louisiana after living in Utah for basically the first 27 years of my life. This was never supposed to be a long-term thing–three years at most, and then we’d be on to something else. But those other things kept getting derailed. It felt like something was keeping us here. I grew more and more distraught and antsy and anxious because this was not the plan. I treaded water for years, refusing to put down roots or get too attached because I knew I would eventually have to say goodbye and for me, goodbyes are too hard. 

But then I realized that goodbyes and change are part of life and the really tragic thing would be to watch years of my life pass me by without experiencing everything it had to offer. So I threw myself into it. This place isn’t perfect–it’s too hot in the summer (and when I say “summer,” I mean April-October.) The variety and sheer quantity of insects are astonishing. The roads are bad and no one understands me at the drive-thru. But. This place has become a part of me. The experiences my kids have had, the strangers who became friends who became family, the really hard things and the people who were there to see me through have changed me.

There’s a little local restaurant here named Spirits that serves a dish called Tracey’s Chicken. While falling in love with this area, Spirits has become a place for me and Tracey’s Chicken has become my thing. When I’m celebrating. When I’m definitely not celebrating. Birthdays. Nights out. Quick lunches with friends. That’s what I order. When I do move away from here, it’s definitely going to be one of the top 3 things that is hard to leave.

Since I plan for all contingencies, I decided I needed to make a copycat Tracey’s Chicken so I can have it with me wherever I go, whenever that may be. And since I don’t know who Tracey is and you guys definitely/probably don’t know who Tracey is, I’m calling it Mediterranean Chicken Breasts. And believe it or not, even with all the stuff loaded on top, it was a huge hit with my entire family. One of them picked off the spinach, but I was truly surprised that they not only ate it, they devoured it. Not only that, but even though this looks very fancy and impressive, you can easily make it in less than 30 minutes. Not. Too. Shabby.

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To start out, pat dry 4 chicken breasts with paper towels and set aside.

In a heavy skillet with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating, season the chicken breasts on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

(I’m actually using Trader Joe’s Onion Salt here,

but regular kosher salt works just fine). When the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts and cover the pan. Cook for 7 minutes (you might want to check while it’s cooking and make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to the pan). After 7 minutes, flip the chicken breasts and cook for another 7 minutes or until an internal temperature reaches 165 F (if you don’t have a ThermoPop, you should get one–accurate, affordable, and really cute!)

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce ingredients–measure out the chicken broth + vinegar or some dry white wine, slice the lemons in half, mince the garlic, and measure the butter.

If you still have time, prepare the toppings–have the spinach ready to go, chop the sun dried tomatoes and artichokes,

and crumble the goat cheese.

Goat cheese has definitely grown on me over the years, but I do realize that it’s an acquired taste. I maintain that if you’re iffy on goat cheese, this is a great recipe for it because there are so many strong, complementary flavors that it’s not overwhelming and just creamy and soft and delicious. But. If you just can’t do it, you can try ricotta, Boursin, or even fresh mozzarella or burrata. 

Anyway. Set all your little salty toppings aside.

When the chicken breasts are done cooking, remove from heat and lower the heat to medium-low. Add the chicken broth mixture or wine to the pan and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan into the liquid. Add the garlic, butter, and squeeze the lemons into the pan. Return the chicken breasts to the pan and top with the spinach, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and goat cheese. Cover the pan and heat until the spinach is heated through and the cheese is soft and warm. 

Transfer the chicken breasts to serving plates and spoon the sauce from the pan over the chicken. Serve immediately with Sautéed Garlic Spinach, rice (brown or white), pasta salad, or your favorite side dish.

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Mediterranean Chicken Breasts

  • Author: kate jones

Description

These Mediterranean Chicken Breasts look (and taste) fancy, but you can make it start to finish in 30 minutes! Creamy goat cheese, salty sun dried tomatoes and marinated artichoke hearts, and garlicky spinach all combine in this amazing dinner!


Ingredients

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth + 1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar added to it OR 1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 2 small lemons
2 tablespoons butter
About 3/4-1 cup of Sautéed Garlic Spinach (I make this in advance as a side dish earlier in the week and save the rest for this recipe)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (about 1/2 of a 6 ounce jar)
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


Instructions

In a heavy skillet with a lid, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating, season the chicken breasts on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. When the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts and cover the pan. Cook for 7 minutes (you might want to check while it’s cooking and make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to the pan). After 7 minutes, flip the chicken breasts and cook for another 7 minutes or until an internal temperature reaches 165 F (if you don’t have a ThermoPop, you should get one–accurate, affordable, and really cute!)

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce ingredients–measure out the chicken broth + vinegar or the wine, slice the lemons in half, mince the garlic, and measure the butter. If you still have time, prepare the toppings–have the spinach ready to go, chop the sun dried tomatoes and artichokes, and crumble the cheese. Set aside.

When the chicken breasts are done cooking, remove from heat and lower the heat to medium-low. Add the chicken broth mixture or wine to the pan and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan into the liquid. Add the garlic, butter, and squeeze the lemons into the pan. Return the chicken breasts to the pan and top with the spinach, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and goat cheese. Cover the pan and heat until the spinach is heated through and the cheese is soft and warm. 

Transfer the chicken breasts to serving plates and spoon the sauce from the pan over the chicken. Serve immediately.

4 comments

  1. This chicken dish looks like it has so much flavor! I wondered if someone did not like goat cheese, if cream cheese could be used it its place in a dish like this?

    Thanks!

  2. Made this tonight. I am not a big fan of artichokes, but I made it with them anyway just to try them one more time. 😊My boys liked just the plain chicken with the lemon/broth sauce. I still didn’t care for the artichokes, but other than that it was super tasty. (My hubby’s stomach can’t tolerate fresh garlic, so I subbed powdered and it worked just fine.) The sauce is definitely the best part!!

  3. Made this tonight and it was a big hit! Everyone, including the 4 year old and 1 year old ate everything on their plates! I subbed Gouda cheese for the goat cheese because that is what I had on hand. It was good but I bet the goat cheese is even better😋 Thanks, Kate, for this great recipe!!!

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