Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken with Saute of Vegetables

I watched an episode of Diner’s Drive-Ins & Dives the other day and just couldn’t get the Citrus Brined Rosemary Chicken from the Black Pelican out of my mind! The chicken looked amazing and the saute of vegetables – wow! No recipe was given but I followed along and created this shortcut version.

Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken
Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken

Now I know this isn’t exactly like the Black Pelican‘s version – they used an airline breast (that’s a chicken breast with the first wing joint attached) and they marked the breast on the grill and finished it in the oven.

Most home cooks never see an airline breast in the store so I used chicken cutlets to make this a quick cooking dinner. It takes about 10 minutes to toss together, minus the brining. All of the flavor, a fraction of the time!

While the Black Pelican served their Citrus Chicken with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes and a Demi-Glace, I just wanted to go healthier and lighter. That whole combination of flavors seemed a bit odd so odd that maybe I’ll try it sometime. Update: I did try it, using my Cook’s Illustrated Cheater’s Demi-Glace. Frankly, I like this fresher version better! To each his own, I guess!

Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken
Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken

Today though, I served it just as is, but this would be marvelous with a side of orzo, rice or a quinoa pilaf.

This is a gorgeous dish and there’s no reason not to go with your favorite vegetables or your favorite cheese, for that matter! I might toss in a bit of zucchini next time, and maybe try a goat cheese. I relied entirely on the brine and citrus for flavor but I could see adding a dash of wine, red or white wine vinegar or balsamic to the final dish.

You’ll want to note the marinade time on this dish – I mixed up the marinade the night before and made for dinner and it was perfect. Cost for the meal, served as is, ran about $7.06 but you could easily shave a dollar or so off by using tomato chunks rather than Cherry Tomatoes.

Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken
Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken

Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken w Vegetable Saute

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chicken & Brine:

  • 1 lemon, sliced in half, use half and reserve half
  • 1 orange, sliced in half, use half and reserve half
  • 1 lime, sliced in half, use half and reserve half
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed well
  • 1 tablespoon salt or 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon, dried
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • water to cover
  • 4 chicken cutlets (boneless breasts cut horizontally in half)

Juice citrus and add rinds and juice into a medium-sized bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Final Dish:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced 3/8″ thick
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (or two medium cut in chunks)
  • 2 to 3 cups spinach
  • 1/3 cup Feta cheese
  • reserved halves of lemon, orange & lime

Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add cutlets and cook two to three minutes per side until cooked through. Remove, cover and reserve.

Add onion and cook for two to three minutes until starts to soften. Add mushroom and cook until golden brown, stirring now and then, two to three minutes. Toss in cherry tomatoes and cook until slightly wilted, a minute or so. Squeeze juice from the citrus over all. Toss in spinach and Feta and remove from heat.

Serve the vegetable saute and sauce over the chicken.

from the kitchen of, adapted from Diner’s Drive-Ins & Dives & the Black Pelican

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies Applied, for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving money/time and managing this recipe.
  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

Slice round objects between two lids! Run knife horizontally thru center..
Slice round objects between two lids! Run knife horizontally thru center..

21 thoughts on “Citrus Rosemary Brined Chicken with Saute of Vegetables”

  1. I made this recipe this past Tuesday. I bribed the chicken but then grilled it. All the veggies were awesome. I would highly recommend this recipe. Btw… I didn’t know I liked baby spinach till now. So good

  2. I saw the black pelican episode this week and I too couldn’t get it out of my mind. I’ve brined chicken numerous times and loved the results, but never thought to add citrus so I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m glad I found this recipe though or I would have completely forgotten the rosemary and garlic! Thanks!

  3. Looks so amazing and delicious. ❤ I want to make this for my boyfriend and me (clean eating, low carbs) but that poor lovable fool refuses to buy any fresh fruits or vegetables, so I'll never have any citrus, onions or garlic to work with. -_-

      1. Hahahah!!! Well, I don’t live with him yet, so I can’t dictate on what he should buy. But he hates grocery shopping, so if and when we ever move in, guess WHO’S IN CHARGE. OH YEAAAAH.
        Fresh vegetables and fruits all over the damn place, he’s not even gonna know what to do with himself. 😂

        I was thinking of meal planning for him, and this actually seems like a really good first meal I could try out! If…. i can get him to buy lemons. -_-

        1. Too funny! Good luck with that! You know if you don’t think you could get him to eat all of the veggies, try making it with just the tomatoes – it might be less intimidating!

          1. Oh he’s not picky! He loves veggies, save for Swiss Chard and Kale. (blaspheme!) he just doesn’t want to buy the vegetables because then he needs to cook them, and he’s very much in his bachelor kind of caveman period of his life (he’s 25 years old. 😂 you know how 25 year old boys are!) where all he wants to do is microwave his frozen dinner or boil frozen chicken with NOTHING else. 😂😂😂😂

    1. I think he’s a little obnoxious but he sure makes the show! It is so much fun to see so many different styles of food prepared, and yes, I have been known to get up and make something after watching the show!

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