Written by Megan of Stetted.
My son just turned five the other day, and while that means we have yet to dive into the busy world of elementary school, I’m already having horrifying visions of homework and sports and fundraisers and PTA meetings.
OK, it’s probably not as bad as many of the parents I know make it seem (please don’t tell me if it really is that bad) but I am still trying to get a head start on planning for the future by building up a repertoire of dinners that are easy to make, don’t use a sinkful of dishes, and are family approved. One-pot meals to the rescue!
We’ve talked about one-pot meals on Simple Bites before – they can range from classics in the slow-cooker to quick stovetop dishes. But my favorite way to make a one-pot dish is to use my dutch oven.
If you don’t have a dutch oven yet, I highly recommend getting one. They are workhorses, and I use mine for everything from summer jam to winter chili. They hold up really well, and often turn up at second-hand stores if you don’t want to shell out for new.
Have you ever made roast in a slow cooker, placing the veggies and meat in a specific order? This is the same way I cook in a dutch oven. Layering ingredients in a dutch oven means you don’t need to worry about cooking ingredients separately, and this includes the grains. The first time I cooked rice this way I was nervous, but it turned out perfectly cooked and deliciously infused with the flavors of the other ingredients.
Our vegetable delivery service brought us some late-season zucchini, as well as local Meyer lemons, so I raided our meat stash for some chicken thighs. You can actually use semi-frozen chicken in this recipe, but be sure the chicken is fully cooked before serving.
Pair with a green salad and perhaps dinner rolls, and you’ve got a hearty, welcoming meal. While the overall time might seem long, most of it is hands-off, leaving you to help with homework, work on the family schedule, or print out more posters for the PTA. Just in case you need to.
|One-Pot Lemon Chicken and Zucchini||
- Oil, for coating dutch oven
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Meyer lemons
- 4 cups sliced zucchini (about 1 pound)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat inside of a 4-quart dutch oven with a neutral-tasting oil.
- Rinse rice until water comes out clean, then pour into the dutch oven. Add broth and stir.
- Arrange chicken on top of the rice, and season with salt and pepper.
- Slice 1 lemon into rounds and arrange on top of chicken. Add the zucchini and garlic on top of the lemon.
- Halve the other lemon and juice half over the top, reserving the other half for serving, if desired. Top with rosemary sprigs and cover.
- Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
Hungry for more? Check out these options:
- Malaysian Shrimp Fried Rice
- Slow-Cooker Cabbage Rolls with Brown Rice and Herbs
- Arroz con Pollo via Joy the Baker
- Chocolate Chip Chili with Sausage
- Slow-Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken with Vegetables
What’s your favorite thing to make for a quick dinner?