Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blackened Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Quinoa

I should have named the blog See Aimee Cook 30 Minute Meals.

I would have named it simply 30 Minute Meals but some girl named Rachael called dibs on it first.

Good food, made with with real ingredients, don't have to be complicated or take long. It can, and I do dabble in more complicated meals occasionally, but what I really want is for people to have access to easy, quick, delicious meals that mostly use ingredients found on the outside edge of your grocery store. This is one of those meals.

In the spring/summer/fall, the grill can be your best friend at the end of the day. Not only do you keep the heat outside but things on the grill are typically healthier and you don't have a big mess in your kitchen! This meal doesn't even call for marinating ahead of time so no worries if you are (like me) and thawing your chicken while you're at work. You can walk in the door, season the chicken, crank up the grill, start the quinoa, and have dinner done in LESS than 30 minutes. And it's so, so tasty - we both LOVED it!

Psst - The original recipe uses the stovetop but if the weather is nice, throw it on the grill instead and save that pan from being washed. I've included instructions for both methods.

Psst Psst - With the cayenne amount below, I did not find this spicy. However, you can adjust the amount based on your taste. The avocado cream sauce - if you decide to make it - will also help cut the heat if you're extra sensitive.

Blackened Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Quinoa
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1 lime, juice and zest
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Avocado cream sauce, optional (see below)

Combine the first six ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well, then season both sides of each chicken breast.
Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.**
Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.
After the chicken breasts have fully cooked, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.
In a large bowl, toss together the warm quinoa, lime zest, lime juice, chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa with the optional Avocado Cream Sauce.
**If using the grill instead, skip this step and instead grill the chicken on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, about seven minutes per side
Avocado Cream Sauce - in a food processor, puree one avocado and two tablespoons of Greek yogurt until smooth.
Source: Slightly adapted from Sarcastic Cooking


  1. This was absolutely delicious. Thanks.

  2. This was sooooooo good! I'm surprised that Russell even liked this! Thanks for another "keeper"!

  3. Replies
    1. It's SO delicious! Give it a try and let me know what you thought!

  4. Aimee, This sounds awesome! Totally a recipe I need to try! :) You are a Featured Favorite this week on Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! Thanks for sharing with us last week, we can't wait to see what you've been up to this week! Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie :)

  5. Just made this for dinner it came out so good

  6. I'm going to this to my menu rotation looks good

  7. Loved this! I tweaked the recipe and am featuring it on my blog this week-giving you credit and linking to you of course:)

  8. This was a hit in our home tonight! Thanks


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