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Grumpy Sullie and Spiced Chicken Recipe

I fully recognize that as a dog momma that I think pictures of Sullie are cuter than any of you do and that at times I may seem slightly over the top with my love for her but come on…

How can you not adore this face? You usually see happy Sullie. This is grumpy Sullie. I made her get out of bed at 5:20 a.m. to go to the gym and train a client with me at 6 a.m. She acted like a pathetic, tired pup all morning long. This is the expression of, “I don’t do early mornings mom, gah.”

Breakfast was peanut butter with a side of banana oatmeal. No really, I think there was probably more or  equal amount of peanut butter in the jar. And that is perfect.

I worked straight through until 1:30. So much to do to get ready to leave! I came home to eat lunch and start packing. Lunch was a sandwich with apricot preserves, turkey, avocado, spinach and brie with tomato soup.

I had an awesome evening. I taught BodyPump. I say this all the time but I love teaching this class. I love teaching in general but BodyPump is just so much fun. The best part is that I get to co-teach with another instructor. It adds so much energy to the class. After BodyPump I had a training session with a client back at Metro that was great. It’s really cool to be able to take someone from feeling blah to smiling. :)

Dinner tonight was spiced chicken breasts with roasted asparagus and mashed sweet potatoes.

This Spiced Chicken is a fast and different variation to try for a different spin on chicken. You make a quick homemade spice rub, brown it in a skillet and then finish it in the oven. I first learned about this recipe during my 68 Days of Gourmet project on my food blog. It’s one of Gourmet Editor-In-Chief Ruth Reichl’s favorite weeknight recipes. The spice blend is simple to put together and the flavors are amazing together. It’s best with bone-in, skin on chicken but works as a quick rub for boneless, skinless breasts as well.

Spiced Chicken
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, April 2000)


2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the pan
2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless or bone in…you can also use leg/thigh quarters)
1/2 cup water, white wine or chicken broth


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken.

Stir together spices, salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Rub all over chicken. Heat another tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof heavy skillet (preferably not non-stick) over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes (3 minutes per side). Transfer skillet to middle rack of oven and roast, until just cooked through, 12-15 minutes for boneless, skinless breasts or 20-25 for bone in. Note, if you are using a nonstick skillet, you need to transfer the chicken to a different baking dish that is oven-safe. Internal temp should be 160 for breasts and closer to 170 for legs/thighs.

Remove chicken from skillet and place on a plate. Place the skillet back on a burner over medium-high heat. Pour water, wine or broth into skillet and deglaze, scraping up brown bits. Let reduce for 2-3 minutes and then pour over chicken. You can skip this step if you don’t want to hassle with it but that pan sauce is super flavorful!

I like to slice chicken breasts for a pretty presentation and ease of eating. The mashed sweet potatoes are a nice side for this dish because they complement the warm spicy flavors of the rub. The asparagus happened because it was on sale for $1.99/lb at the grocery.

Time to shut down and relax after a long day. Lots to accomplish tomorrow!

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • 1
    hillary | nutrition nut on the run February 21, 2013, 11:54 pm

    dinner looks lovely!!

  • 2
    Babs February 22, 2013, 12:11 am

    Poor Sully having to get up at the crack of dawn is hard work. Those mashed look yummy.

  • 3
    Paige @ The Balancing Act February 22, 2013, 12:55 am

    Hahahaha I loved “peanut butter with a side of banana oatmeal.” As it should be! 😉

  • 4
    Lisa February 22, 2013, 2:05 am

    Aw Sullie is so adorable. I have a golden too and she isn’t a morning doggie either, I totally know the expression. And I love all her pics, she is so cute. I am adding the chicken recipe to my meals next week it sounds yummy and simple. I hope you have a wonderful vacation.

  • 5
    advocarerunner February 22, 2013, 7:16 am

    The PB with a side of oats is SO me! Love it!

  • 6
    meredith February 22, 2013, 7:21 am

    I live on peanut butter and it takes the main stage in my meals as well!

  • 7
    Julie February 22, 2013, 7:54 am

    Sullie is the cutest!

  • 8
    She Rocks Fitness February 22, 2013, 8:20 am

    I LOVE when there is “by accident” LOTS of peanut butter at the bottom of the jar. I may get great pleasure of not mixing everything together, so I can eat straight peanut butter for the last few bites. Just saying… happy Friday! XO

  • 9
    Jessica February 22, 2013, 8:37 am

    That chicken looks delicious! And I always love Sullie pictures, almost as much as I love pictures of my own white-faced pup :)

    This morning as I was struggling to get every last bit of PB out of the jar to top my overnight oats I thought “I should have made the oats IN the peanut butter jar like Jen so I wouldn’t have this issue.” Thanks for rubbing it in, jeeeeez!

  • 10
    Christina February 22, 2013, 11:11 am

    Hi Jen! Wanted to tell you that I made your chicken with brie and apricot last night and it was delicious! It was a very easy yet impressive meal, and I think I’ll keep it in my “cooking for company” arsenal :) Can’t wait to try this version as well!

  • 11
    Erika February 22, 2013, 1:02 pm

    I finally started taking a yoga class! I’m really enjoying it but it is only once a week. I would love to find some DVDs to be able to do at home too. Suggestions anyone?

    Also, the other night in class when we were getting into child’s pose someone totally ripped one! I’m sorry, but it was funny – though nobody laughed at her. I’ve had to hold a few in myself and I was just curious if this happens a lot in yoga. Just looking for a little humor here.

  • 12
    Katie @ running4cupcakes February 22, 2013, 5:44 pm

    I feel the same way about body pump vs other aerobics – I love them both but there is just something about body pump. And I especially love co-teaching!

  • 13
    Meredith September 11, 2013, 4:17 pm

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! I’m really glad to see you are going to start putting Bakin’ and Eggs recipes on PBR. I’ve made this recipe before following your instructions and it turned out great. I’m wondering if they could be cooked on the grill instead? Or would that change things? If it’s ok to grill them, should I still brown them in a pan first? thank you!

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