About 4 weeks into quarantine, we had a freezer incident. No, it didn’t stop working, but a bag of items was left out of the freezer without realizing. Thankfully, we noticed soon enough so everything in the bag was still cold and safe to eat.
Note about Food Safety:
I should also note that technically, you shouldn’t leave frozen items out at room temperature to defrost. This puts it at risk of being in the danger zone for temperatures where bacteria can grow. In my case, we had enough frozen items together that it stayed partially frozen by the time we found it. But always air on the safe side. If in doubt, throw it out!
Watch this video tutorial for how to make this tasty recipe! 👇
Music by https://www.free-stock-music.com
We now had 10 chicken breasts that we had to eat, or cook and re-freeze. Cooking and re-freezing protein is a great way to meal prep because it makes for a faster re-heat when you need it. Staying home more right now means less need for meal prepped food, so I opted to take this opportunity to test out some new chicken recipes.
My weekly meal plan for that week went out the window, and I started thinking of ways that I could revitalize chicken dinner using ingredients that I had on-hand. This One-Pan Garlic Butter Chicken and Cauliflower recipe is loaded with flavour. It is completely cooked on the stovetop and using one cast iron pan.
How to make this One-Pan Garlic Butter Chicken and Cauliflower
To make this recipe, you’ll carefully butterfly each chicken breast and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. This cut makes the chicken pieces thinner and ultimately helps them cook quicker and more evenly in the pan. The chicken will sit while you prep the cauliflower and remaining ingredients. I like to cut the cauliflower into ½ inch flax pieces for this recipe. This allows the florets to have a larger surface area in the pan to get nice and crispy.
Use a Cast Iron Pan
Once your chicken and cauliflower are prepped, you’ll add butter and oil to your heated cast iron pan, followed by the seasoned chicken. Your chicken will cook for about 4-6 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. In the last minute of cooking, you’ll add the minced garlic, mixing with the chicken until fragrant, about 1 minute.
You’ll then set the chicken aside on a plate and deglaze the hot pan with the chicken broth. This allows you to pull up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan which are full of flavour. The chicken broth will simmer for a few minutes until reduced by about half. Then you’ll add lemon juice, hot sauce, the remaining butter, followed by the cauliflower.
There should be some broth remaining at the time that you add the cauliflower to the pan. This will help it steam to cook faster, as well as enhance the flavour. Place a lid on the cauliflower and monitor closely, cooking until browned and easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. The broth will gradually evaporate which will allow the cauliflower to get crispy. If the pan gets too dry and the contents start to burn, add a small amount of water.
Once the cauliflower has cooked, pile to one side of the pan and add your chicken breast back to allow it to reheat. This recipe is the perfect dinner for two. It’s ready in 30-minutes and works well on its own or served with rice for a balanced meal.
Do you need a cast iron pan for this recipe?
A cast-iron pan is highly recommended for this recipe. I’ve tried it with and without, and it had a much better flavour when cooked using a cast iron pan.
What is a butterfly cut?
To butterfly the chicken, you’ll cut the chicken horizontally to make a thinner piece of meat that will cook faster. There are lots of great videos online that will show you how to do this.
Can you use chicken for this recipe?
I haven’t tried this recipe with chicken thighs, but I think boneless skinless chicken thighs would work well.
This one-pan meal is full of garlic buttery goodness and is ready in 30-minutes. Need I say more?
2 chicken breasts
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ small cauliflower, cut into ½-inch thick slices
1.5 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Hot sauce
Butterfly the chicken, season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning. Let sit while you prepare cauliflower.
Heat 1 tbsp butter and olive oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 4-6 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.
In the last minute of cooking the chicken, lower the heat, add minced garlic and stir until fragrant. Set chicken aside.
In the same skillet, turn up the heat to medium-high and add the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer until reduced by almost half (there should still be some liquid in the pan).
Add remaining butter, lemon juice, hot sauce, stirring to combine. Add cauliflower in a single layer. Put a lid on the pan and monitor closely.
Cook the cauliflower, flipping occasionally, until browned and tender when pierced with a fork, about 10-12 minutes. Add a small amount of water if the pan gets dry, it will evaporate quickly and help cauliflower steam.
Pile cauliflower on one side of the pan and add the chicken back to the other side of the pan to reheat for 1-2 minutes.
Don’t miss a thing! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for Real Good Eats straight to your inbox.
Hi there! I am a registered dietitian and I 💚 food! I am passionate about making it easier for busy people to eat well by sharing quick and healthy recipes. Healthy cooking at home can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I love helping people uncomplicate weeknight dinners and reduce stress around meal time, so I’m so glad you’re here!