Side by side fake and real rosemary and lemon chicken

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Do you have a vegetarian in your family? Are you scratching your head to find vegetarian dishes to serve other than salad? You can make this delicious chicken dish while simultaneously cooking a similar vegetarian version.  Meat-eaters and vegetarians with love this satisfying meal!


1 cup pearl onions
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper for seasoning
2 vegetarian Gardein Scallopini patties
2 rosemary sprigs
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup vegetarian vegetable broth
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter spread or softened butter
2 tablespoons flour
buttered noodles for accompaniment

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The recipe below feeds one vegetarian and one hungry meat-eater.  Add more chicken or fake chicken as needed to accommodate your family’s appetite.

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Start by blanching the pearl onions.  Place unpeeled onions in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Submerge onions in bowl of ice water to prevent overcooking.

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Once onions are cool enough to handle, cut off ends and remove peel.  Set aside.

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Chop carrots and celery and set aside.

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Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.  While pan is warming, season thighs with salt and pepper.   Once the pan is hot, cook both sides until golden brown.

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While chicken is cooking, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a hot pan on medium-high heat.  Vegetarian patties are already seasoned and require only 2-3 minutes of cooking.

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Once done cooking, transfer meat and fake meat to separate plates (many vegetarians do not like meat to touch their food).

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Reduce both skillets to medium heat.  Add half of the carrots and celery to each pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  While vegetables are cooking, preheat oven to 425F.

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Add one spring of rosemary to each pan and cook for 1 minute.

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Add half of the lemon juice and the chicken broth to the chicken pan and scrape off stuck bits from bottom of the pan.  Add the other half of the lemon juice and the veggie broth to the vegetarian pan.  Add half of the onions and half of the lemon zest to each pan and bring each to a boil.

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Return chicken thighs to chicken pan.

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Return vegetarian patties to vegetarian pan.

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Cook uncovered for 40 minutes until dishes are golden brown.  Make sure chicken thighs are cooked through.   Remove skillets from the oven and discard rosemary sprigs.  From the chicken dish, put chicken and vegetables in a serving bowl.  Put the vegetarian patties and vegetables in a separate dish.  Keep the liquid for the sauce.

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In the last few minutes of cooking, mix two tablespoons of flour into two tablespoons of soften butter to make a paste.  The paste mixture shown here is brown because I used whole wheat flour.

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Divide the flour paste into two small bowls.  Gradually add the juices of each pan into each small bowl to make separate sauces.  If sauces are thin, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.

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Pour each sauce onto the appropriate dish and serve with buttered pasta.  I chose vegetable flavored bow tie pasta, but you can use your favorite or whatever you have on hand.

Voilà! Bon appétit!!


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