Here in Michigan, Coney Island restaurants are a staple. You’ll find one in nearly every strip mall and it’s rare to drive more than a block or two on a main road without seeing at least one, at least in the Detroit-area. The restaurants serve Greek-American style food in addition to the ever popular Coney Dog.
One of my favorite things to get when we go to a Coney restaurant is Chicken Lemon Rice Soup. It’s a rich, flavorful, creamy soup that is so comforting. It’s one of those recipes I’ve thought about recreating countless times, but I always opt not to because I love it as a rare treat, and that’s how I want it to remain.
However, the flavor is definitely worth duplicating on a regular basis. So, when I’m craving the soup, I love to throw this quick replacement together instead. The flavor is very similar, although this dish is definitely much healthier and lighter without all the additional cream and the addition of broccoli. And best of all, it’s a one-dish meal, so it takes very little prep work or clean up. Sure, it’s not as easy as sitting down at a restaurant and being served a big, steamy bowl of soup, but this definitely fulfills my cravings without any of the guilt.
Lemon Chicken & Broccoli with Rice
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. fresh broccoli, cut into florets*
- 1 1/2 c. white rice
- 1 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. thyme
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1 large lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 c. chicken stock
- 1 c. water
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 T. dried parsley)
- Freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
- Additional salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes, just until browned. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in broccoli, rice, salt, thyme, pepper and lemon zest.
2. Pour in the lemon juice, chicken stock and water. Stir just to incorporate. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in parsley and season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.
*Note: You can use frozen broccoli if you’d prefer. Just add it during the last 5 minutes of the simmering process instead of before boiling.