Up until a few years ago, I despised Brussels sprouts. Mind you, I liked the rest of the Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, kale, broccolini….), but them sprout things were just nasty.
Growing up, we’d eat them boiled, and I don’t think we ever found them fresh in the market. So when I moved out on my own, I never ever bought them.
For several of my late teen years (and early twenties), we would eat Christmas Dinner with our neighbors. The head of household, Mrs. V., would make her same English-style meal for the occasion every single year. What I remember adoring was the appetizer of brie heated in a pastry shell, but after that it went downhill fast. The main was brisket cooked like tough shoe leather (I found out how to make brisket tender years later!) with a side of Brussels sprouts, boiled of course. This was so bad that the year I had to go in for major surgery the day after Christmas, and was told to be on a “clear liquid” diet for two days previous, I enjoyed my bowl of clear chicken broth (and yes, a glass of clear white wine – of which I didn’t ask advice about, thank you… It WAS CLEAR!) without any pangs of longing while everyone else consumed tough brisket and boiled sprouts. Yes, I missed the brie, but I knew what was coming… It was SOOooo worth missing it!
Brussels sprouts, it turns out, are best roasted or sautéed to a bit of golden brown. I love that I can buy them “shaved” so I don’t have to chop them up. If you buy them whole, do at least split them in half (and cook a little longer than delineated below).
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Rest time: not needed
Serves: 1 main
Brussels Sprouts and Chicken Thigh
1 tablespoon oil (olive or avocado oil). OR, 1 teaspoon butter plus 2 teaspoons oil.
4 ounces Brussels sprouts, preferably shaved into 1/4 inch slices, or at least halved.
1/2 medium onion, peeled and sliced, roughly diced
1 boneless skinless chicken thigh, fat removed, roughly chopped.
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground chili pepper (I’ve used the mild Ancho, but Chipotle would be good too)
Salt and pepper to taste.
The juice from 1/2 lime.
Due to the small size of the skillet I used, I cooked the sprouts separate from the chicken/onions. Plus I wanted to guarantee thoroughly cooked chicken.
So: On medium/medium-high heat, put in half your oil (or butter/oil) and cook the sprouts. Add about half of the seasonings (except the lime juice). This should take about five minutes, stirring frequently. They will decrease in size as the water steams out. You are ready when they begin to get brown patches.
Set aside into a bowl large enough for the final dish, then cook the chicken and onion together, with the rest of the oil and the rest of the seasonings (except the lime juice). This will take about ten minutes — check a larger piece of chicken for doneness by cutting into it, and adjust your cooking accordingly. Your onions should definitely be translucent.
Combine the chicken/onion mixture with the sprouts, and squeeze the lime juice over the dish, and either serve now or reserve for re-heating later. This makes a great workday lunch if you have a microwave where you work. (It’s probably not bad cold, either.)
Scale up for extra meals or more people!
Maybe someday I’ll grow to like carrots… Ya think??