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Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Red Pepper & Asparagus Pilaf with Thyme Cream Sauce


It’s spring. Or at least it’s supposed to be. I mean, after all, the forecasters are calling for snow tomorrow and temps in the mid 30s. Did I mention that yesterday we reached 80 degrees? Ahh. Life in Cleveland. So what’s a girl to do when it’s so cold outside? Why, make something reminiscent of spring, of course.

I used bone-in chicken legs and thighs for this. You could potentially use boneless, skinless breasts or thighs, but come on. Is there anything better than crispy chicken skin? No. No there is not.
This whole meal provides a burst of color and a huge serving of veggies. My asparagus was perfect–my favorite kind: the super skinny stalks that are crisp but not woody. Of course, you can’t eat asparagus without lemon, so you’ll get a mild lemon flavor with this dish, combined with thyme, garlic and rosemary. It’ll make your house smell like a fancy schmancy restaurant, and it looks pretty fancy too. Did I mention that it’s insanely delicious and low carb, gluten free and grain free too? Of course it is. That’s why it’s here and that’s why it’s in my belly!

Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Red Pepper & Asparagus Pilaf with Thyme Cream Sauce


Makes 3-4 servings (depending on amount of chicken). 4g net carbs per serving.


  • 6-8 skin-on chicken legs, thighs or both
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Pilaf:
  • 1 head cauliflower, steamed and riced (or one bag frozen cauliflower florets)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 10-30 stalks of raw asparagus (depending on the thickness of the stalks), sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon zest (about one lemon)
  • 4 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • Cream Sauce:
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese (for garnish, if desired)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter to brown the chicken in. Coat raw chicken pieces with garlic, salt, rosemary and pepper. Pat each piece so the seasoning sticks.
  3. Place the chicken skin side down into the hot butter. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes per side, until the skin is brown and crispy, then turn over and repeat. Juices should run completely clear (chicken should be cooked thoroughly). Set chicken aside.
  4. Wipe out skillet (or use another one) and melt butter for pilaf. Add in onion, asparagus and red pepper and sautee on high heat for 3-4 minutes until veggies cook but are still crisp.
  5. Season veggies with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, parsley, lemon zest and thyme and stir well. Pour in chicken stock and add in riced cauliflower and parmesan. Stir constantly and reduce heat to medium. Make sure the mixture is evenly mixed and allow the liquid to evaporate from the pilaf (about 10 minutes).
  6. Pour the pilaf into a baking dish (or leave it in the skillet if you have an oven safe skillet) and top it with the cooked chicken. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes just to warm everything through.
  7. Prepare the cream sauce by combining all sauce ingredients except xanthan gum in a small sauce pan. Whisk well and bring to a boil over medium heat and sprinkle in xanthan gum.
  8. Whisk quickly for one minute or so and allow to boil another five minutes to activate the xanthan gum and allow it to thicken. Turn off the heat and let the sauce thicken for a few minutes.
  9. Remove the chicken dish from the oven and spoon the cream sauce over each piece of chicken. Serve hot.

Need Ingredients for That Recipe?


It takes a lot of trial and error to find the "right" fit for a low carb recipe. I have made some ... different low carb desserts. You don't need to go through that! I made a list of my favorite ingredients as well as what stores you can find them at. Enjoy!

About the author

Leeann Teagno

Eating healthy, for me, is about more than weight loss like it used to be. It’s about controlling my blood sugar levels and obtaining normal–or relatively normal–hormone levels. I still struggle to lose weight efficiently, but eating a wheat, sugar and gluten free diet helps to control some of the problems I’ve encountered with these health issues of mine.

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