Happy 2017, everyone! Welcome to a new year, a symbolic time that promises many things but that in reality probably won’t differ much from December 31st of this past weekend, aside from the fact that we’ll all be scratching out the inevitable “2016”s on our rent checks to hastily scrawl in “2017” instead. Turning an accidental 6 into a deliberate 7 will be messy, but by god we’ll do it.
But despite the unceasing and apathetic forward march of time, let’s all embrace the wise words of Bill and Ted and be excellent to ourselves and to each other. Imagine me embracing you in a hug right now— and imagine it being very awkward for added realism, if you will.
I know many people have made a resolution to be healthier this year, and I have too. What a boring resolution, and so predictable too. But you know what doesn’t have to be boring and predictable? Your healthier meals! How’s that for a segue? Pretty awful, I know. It’s too bad I didn’t resolve to be a less terrible writer, am I right???
Here’s a quick and easy dinner for you, which is ideal when you’re trying to be healthier after spending the last three months surviving on red meat and Cheetos. Come on, I know it ain’t just me, people. And better yet, this is one you can make even healthier by using white meat instead of dark meat like the clean living guru I know you can be. The original recipe called for orzo, but I had elbow noodles in my pantry already, so I used those instead. You can use whatever noodle you want, or even rice! Go bananas, you healthy genius.
Barely adapted from Epicurious
Yield: 3-4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 leek, halved length-wise and cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 3/4 pounds (12 ounces) skinless and boneless chicken thighs
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup elbow noodles or orzo
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, quartered
- salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the leek and celery in it until it softens, about 5-8 minutes.
Add the chicken thighs and broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and let it cook for 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it cool before shredding it into bite-sized pieces.
Meanwhile, taste the broth and salt it to taste. Bring the broth back to a boil and cook the elbow pasta (or orzo) until al dente, which should be 5-9 minutes depending on your pasta of choice. Serve immediately topped with the shredded chicken, dill, a squeeze of lemon, and freshly ground pepper. If you like your soup more lemony, add more lemon!