I was born in Los Angeles, and we used to go back to visit our family there about once a year. Among other chain restaurants (including In&Out Burger and Jack In The Box), we always had to stop at El Pollo Loco, a popular fast-food chain that specializes in “flame broiled chicken.” Looking back, I’m not sure why this was on the top of our vacation to-do list every time, considering how big of a local food scene Southern California has…
I think I love this recipe because it reminds me a bit of the El Pollo Loco chicken we would get so excited over as kids. It’s super simple — just a few ingredients, and you can do a million other things while you’re cooking because it doesn’t require constant attention. Plus, I accidentally bought more lemons than I needed, and used the leftovers to make cupcakes 😉
Crispy Lemon Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Rice
Cost per serving: $3-4
- 6 medium boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 bag raw brussels sprouts, chopped
- 1 bag cauliflower rice (or 1 head cauliflower, riced*)
- 1 lemon
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic (3 tsp minced)
- Spice blend: salt, pepper, parsley
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, drizzle 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp garlic, and spices over the chicken thighs. Squeeze half the lemon juice over the bowl. Arrange chicken in a single layer in the skillet and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.
- When chicken is fully cooked (white on the inside), turn the heat up to medium-high and cover. Cook for 5+ more minutes — you want to sear the chicken so it browns slightly on both sides.
- While the chicken is cooking, heat 2 tsp oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tsp garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Sprinkle brussels sprouts with salt and pepper and add to pan, tossing to coat in the olive oil. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp on the outside and tender (squishy) on the inside. I like to get a little char on the brussels sprouts. Remove from the pan.
- Using the same skillet you used for the brussels sprouts, pour in cauliflower rice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let cook 3-5 minutes, or until cauliflower is warm to the touch.
- Plate your cauliflower rice, brussels sprouts, and 2 chicken thighs per serving, and squeeze 1/2 lemon overtop.
*To make the cauliflower rice: break up a head of cauliflower and pulse 1-2 times in a food processor until finely chopped.