I’ve been making variations on this Simple Skillet Chicken Vegetable Dinner for a long time. Normally, I just pull it together and don’t time myself.
But one recent evening, I was starving. In order to distract myself from snacking, I decided to time myself as I chopped and sautéed. It turns out that dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes. I was amazed. That’s close to a record for me. Whether it’s because I dawdle, or simply that the time it takes to preheat the oven or start the grill, dinner always seems to take me more than half an hour.
There are few “real” dinners in my regular rotation that take a half hour or less from start to finish. Back when I rushed home from an office to feed school-age kids, I used to make pasta and grated cheese with broccoli for dinner. That only took 15-20 minutes, but it wasn’t exactly a satisfying adult dinner. And I don’t count rewarming leftovers, cooking eggs, or throwing together a salad as making dinner.
Maybe it says more about me than the availability of quick preparation dinner recipes. Still, I think I’m not alone. Even my kids and friends who have tried “dinner in a box” solutions like Blue Apron tell me that preparation of those meals can be time-consuming.
Anyway, when I find a dinner that is both quick to prepare and tasty, I’m all for it. That’s why this Simple Skillet Chicken Vegetable Dinner is one of my favorites.
I’ll continue to make dinners that require more than a half hour to prepare. There will always be a place in my heart – and on my table – for soup and stew, kugel , and other, more time-consuming dishes. But on a weeknight when time is of the essence, I head to this recipe.
There are enough vegetables in the dish to make it a one-pan meal. The feta cheese, oregano, and olives, make it seem Mediterranean or more specifically, Greek, in style. And the colors make the dish as visually pleasing as it is tasty.
Simple Skillet Chicken Vegetable Dinner
A one pan chicken and vegetable main course that has lots of taste and takes less than 30 minutes to get on the table.
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), sliced
- 1 small onion, cut into thin half moons
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts If the breasts are thick, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and pound them to flatten.
- 2 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled If the feta is extra salty, rinse and dry it before crumbling.
- 10 Kalamata olives, rinsed & halved
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 ounce white wine, chicken broth or water
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. Add the sliced peppers and onions. Cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until softened. The onion may turn golden brown along the edges. Remove to a plate. If necessary to keep the bottom of the pan moistened, add another tablespoon of oil. Let the pan re-heat for about 30 seconds.
Dry the chicken breasts in a paper towel, then cook them on medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes on each side. The outside should be a bit browned on the edges and the breasts should be almost, but not completely, cooked inside.
Add the onion and peppers back into the skillet, top with the tomatoes, olives, oregano, and fresh pepper. Then pour in the small amount of liquid (wine, chicken broth, or water), cover the skillet, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Serve with rice or potatoes.
If you start rice when you begin the chicken and vegetables, it will cook while you attend to the skillet. On the off chance that the rice is ready earlier than the chicken and vegetables, you can leave the pot of rice covered on the stove. It will stay warm until the food in the skillet is done. Just make sure to refrigerate any leftover rice.
You don't need to precisely measure the liquid. I use my 1 ounce shot glass.