I am all about easy-prep recipes; especially ones that I can use for meal prepping and cooking enough for several meals at a time. After testing out multiple variations and methods of cooking chicken, I have finally found the perfect no-fail preparation for meal-prep chicken. After years of following a paleo-type diet, I’ve grown tired of eating the same bland chicken meal after meal. Of course outdoor grilling usually provides you with a pretty good turnout, but sometimes I really don’t want to spend an hour preparing the BBQ (and going to the store when we are out of charcoal…which is 90% of the time we want to grill). We recently purchased a $20 cast iron skillet to take camping with us, but due to our favorite pan wearing out, it has resided in our kitchen. I’ve never really cooked on cast iron until now, and let me tell you….it’s amazing! Combined with the gas stove, this thing cooks everything perfectly with more control than traditional cookware. The magic of cast iron is how I figured out the trick of cooking chicken indoors and fast! The second trick I have to share with you is the power of bacon seasoning. Sprinkling this onto the raw chicken gives it a smokiness that fools your brain into thinking the chicken was indeed cooked on the BBQ.
Below you’ll find this “recipe” as well as instructions on how I make my favorite side dishes: fried plantains and garlic green beans. This entire meal takes about 20 minutes total and can provide a meal for the night or the entire week. It’s a win-win in my book.
My New Go-To Meal
- Chicken tenders (Or breasts; the tenders cook faster though!)
- Garlic Salt
- Black Pepper
- Parsley (I used dried)
- Bacon flavored seasoning
- Green beans
- Grass-fed butter
- Plantain banana, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices (see notes about ripeness levels)
- Coconut oil
- Start the chicken first. Heat a cast-iron skillet (or grill pan) over medium heat and add oil. I use vegetable oil, but anything works.
- Pat dry the chicken and season both sides with garlic salt, pepper, parsley and the bacon seasoning.
- Cook on the first side until you start seeing the sides of the tenders turn white. You can also check periodically for the appearance of grill marks on the side that’s cooking. It’s a pretty good indication they’re ready to turn.
- Once the chicken starts to cook, start heating a pan over low heat. Add coconut oil until the bottom is completely covered with oil. *TIP: use a pan just big enough for the amount of plantain slices you have so you don’t waste a bunch of coconut oil. Cook plantain slices on the first side until they start to slightly brown then flip and look for the same coloring on the second side. place all slices on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- For the green beans, cook according to the package if you bought them frozen (which I did) or in a steamable bag. Otherwise just boil them on the stove. Once finished, melt butter slices over the top and toss with garlic salt. (Super simple, and tastes just like you would get them at Texas Roadhouse).
- The most important step: use a meat thermometer to periodically check on your chicken once all the pink has visibly disappeared. Cook until they’re about 155-160 degrees and take them off the heat to cook the rest of the way. This will leave you with moist, tender chicken.
- While this meal will of course taste best consumed as soon as possible, it will also provide you with flavorful meals for multiple days.