So I do this thing when I’m feeling a little pudgier than normal (what up, holiday cookie body). When The Beard asks what I want for dinner, I say “something light, you know, with lemon.” Not sure why, but I equate healthy dinners with lemon. I’m sure there is some scientific study behind this. My other “healthy” trick is fresh herbs. Voila, grilled chicken and orzo with a lemon tarragon finishing sauce.
In Columbus, it’s been a bit dreary outside. Because well, January. A dish like this one is going to get your healthy kick for the day and comfort you with all its brightness. Unlike other culinary herbs like rosemary or oregano, tarragon is surprisingly refreshing! It’s one of the key ingredients in bearnaise sauce if you have some leftover and want to be the opposite of healthy. Uhh, could we take back this grilled chicken and just make eggs benedict instead? Yum.
You’ve heard us say this a million times and I won’t stop saying it! Buying premade sauce is easy. Yes. But, so is making some simple homemade sauces! This recipe has just a few ingredients, even a few you probably have in your pantry already. Premade sauces are going to have a huge mark-up (trust me, I work in the food industry) and are always filled with weird ingredients. When you whip these up at home, you have total control over what goes in it. If you love the flavor of lemon, toss in an extra tablespoon or two of fresh lemon. Trying to cut back on sugar? Leave it out of the recipe! The ball is totally in your court.
Since this recipe only has a few ingredients, it’s super easy even for the most beginner chef. The only real technique you’ll need to know is how to whisk continuously as you pour in your olive oil. Before you ask, yes this is important. If you don’t consistently whisk as you add the olive oil, it won’t combine completely and you’ll be left with a layer of olive oil just sitting on top of the lemon juice. That would not be delicious.
As part of my requested “light dinner with lemons,” we needed to use our finishing sauce on something delicious! We decided on the generic go-to, grilled chicken. But, really none of our meals are ever just generic. The Beard cooked up some chicken breast topped with Penzey’s Mural of Flavor. If you are trying to cut back on your salt intake, you’ll be happy to know it’s salt-free!
We also added some orzo, which is vastly underrated. For one, it’s a pasta, not a grain. Which I find super interesting for some reason. A box of orzo is super affordable and makes SO much. I’m definitely using the leftovers to make a yummy Mediterranean salad tomorrow. If you don’t have orzo on hand, you could easily substitute rice or another starchy grain. Let us know what you use your lemon tarragon sauce for in the comments below!
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Juice the lemon into bowl. Whisk in sugar and salt until they dissolve.
- Add chopped tarragon and shallots and whisk until combined.
- Slowly pour in olive oil, whisking consistently.
- Drizzle over grilled chicken and favorite grain or pasta.