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Spa Chicken {for two} - Champagne at Shannon's

Spa Chicken {for two}

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TL;DR – Recipe here

{ spa chicken recipe - so easy & healthy no matter how busy you are - perfect for meal prep! // champagne at shannon's }Spa Chicken – Isn’t the name to this so dreamy?!

SERIOUSLY though – the easiest chicken recipe that will become a regular weeknight staple.

I have been at the office late as I coordinate this giant conference (I leave tomorrow for Vegas – eeeeek!) – Like, I am talking 9:00 PM being an early night.  It gets really tempting to do some late night Seamless when I get home. However, this isn’t conducive to costs AT ALL- especially if you are dining for one – which I do quite often when I am assigned to an event or my boyfriend is traveling for work. Many delivery minimums are in the $30- $40 range, and the portions are huge!

Now, enter in this simple solution. It is all done in one pot, extremely easy to scale up and down, and takes very little effort.

I subscribe to America’s Test Kitchen which is where I found this recipe. It is one of those “not broken so don’t fix it” recipes. In fact, it is from their cook book tailored to two called The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook

It’s my cooking bible.  Even if I do not use the recipe, it is so helpful to understand the measurements, because it is so much more than just adjusting ingredients.

America’s Test Kitchen, is hands down, my FAVOURITE resource. They break down techniques, provide fantastic recipes, rate equipment, and you can find practically anything you are looking for on it. I upgraded my membership from America’s Test Kitchen, to include all the other publications, such as Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country. It is 100% worth it! It is roughly $50-$60 a year all-in. It seems pricey upfront, but I promise – you will never have to buy another cookbook again. {<<< though that doesn’t stop me!} However, if you do just America’s Test Kitchen, it is about $30 dollars a year, which I find extremely reasonable.

If you are curious about joining, feel free to ask about it in the comments! I am not affiliated or sponsored by them in any way  {a girl can dream!} but from my year membership with them, and going on year 2 this month, my kitchen skills have improved drastically, and I nailed down some basic techniques. Though I’ve worked in a kitchen, and ran around with plenty of chefs, I am by no means one. Not even close, and I have major respect for all chefs. Hell, I wouldn’t even call myself a home-cook. I just enjoy cooking, putting things together, seeing the reactions, researching the why from people much smarter than I am, and inspecting flavours.

One thing I really love about both America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated is that before their recipes, they have a few paragraphs about the recipe. Sorry, but when I find recipes, I want to know why we use the ingredients called for, or do certain techniques. The last thing I want to hear is some long-ass drivel  that has nothing to do with the recipe. ATK nails it, and those paragraphs alone are what will improve you in the kitchen. It allows you to understand the recipe, why the technique works, cause & effects of other techniques, and variations.

Now, let’s see what’s up with this Spa Chicken….

Very simply speaking, it is just poached chicken. Poaching is defined as cooking in simmering liquid.  It is not uncommon to poach eggs or salmon, however with chicken, it can lead to bland meat. ATK realized this and took it one step further. They brine it in the seasoned cooking water, bring it to a low heat, and allow it to cook. The poaching water is seasoned with smashed garlic cloves (smashed garlic helps release the flavour), fresh herbs, and soy sauce (which helps lead to that savory umami).

Before they simmer the liquid, they throw the chicken breast in the seasoned liquid prior to heating.

Then, they turn on the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer for around 15 minutes – flip the chicken, cover it, and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

I love love love love love this recipe because it is extremely simple, versatile, and easy to scale up or down.

Literally, my cat could do this since it really does not require any major cooking skills.

The clean up is super fast and easy as well. From start to finish, this will take you appx 30 minutes max. 45 minutes including hardcore cleaning.

You can season the water however you want. Don’t like garlic? Fine, omit it! Want more flavour? Use chicken broth. Can’t do soy? Replace it with liquid aminos. Don’t want the aminos? Get rid of it all together. Want to add sweetness? Add sugar.  Want an herbaceous note? Add some rosemary.  Want to make it Shannon style? Add a splash or five of wine (I used Albarino – the same one I enjoyed with my chicken – I repeat, always cook with wine you would like to drink)

I made this the other day with a splash of pickle juice in the water, and it was delicious. Trust me.

The. Possibilities. Are. Endless.

It is an extremely light, lean, yet filling dish, and will go with any possible side dish. I personally like to have this with steamed asparagus, or cauliflower mash.


Spa Chicken via America’s Test Kitchen // The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook

Ingredients :
Serves 2

– 2 half pound chicken breasts {TIP: Make sure they are even in size – pound if necessary}
– Salt / Pepper
– 1.5 Cups Water
– 1 tbsp Soy Sauce {I keep this Kikkoman on hand, always}
– 3 or 4 Garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
– Thyme Sprigs {feel free to sub with whatever green herbs you have}

Optional :

– White Wine
– Lemon

:: In ratio ::
2 parts chicken seasoned with salt and pepper : 3 parts water : soy / herbs / spices / wine / other additions  according to taste

Recipe :

  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine the water, soy sauce, smashed garlic herbs, and wine if using in a 12 inch skillet
  3. Add seasoned chicken to the water mixture and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Flip the chicken over with tongs, cover, and continue to cook until the chicken is 165 degrees.
  5. Transfer to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil – let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Slice the chicken into 1/2 inch thick slices
  7. Season however you want: Salt, pepper, fresh lemon, herbs, etc – and c’est tout.

Stay tuned for the EASIEST ASPARAGUS TRICK EVER (think steamed asparagus in less than 5 minutes) and I will also share my cauliflower mash recipe soon. Trust me when I say it is damn good {PS add my greenz to it for an extra nutritious punch}

Give this a go! I am so excited to see all the variations that you can do with this. If you post it on Instagram, tag me @shannonsilver , or use the hashtag #champagnefordinner so I can check it out.

PS – I enjoyed this with Tangent Albarino – the bright citrus notes, soft brininess, and high acidity complemented the dish perfectly. This was also the same one I added to the water.

Anyone else have an easy go-to recipe that takes little thought / effort? Ideas to season the water with? Let me know in the comments!

Now….. wish me luck in Vegas – it is go time! But as a heads up, I won’t be able to get any new posts in until it is all over – please bear with me! I will be back, I promise! 🙂





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