5.13.2011

the ole standby

Everyone has that dish that they make over and over again. It's the meal you can rely on, the one that's quick to make, tastes delicious, and always hits the spot. It doesn't matter if your standby comes from a box, a bag, or you make it from scratch, it's there for you when you don't have the time. 


It's been one of those weeks... early mornings, late nights, hard workouts (ugh). When I'm having one of those days, or even those weeks, I turn to spinach chicken. No clever name, no complicated recipe... just quick, easy, simple food that hits the spot. About 2 years into dating Matt one of our friends asked him what his favorite dish I made was. He replied "Spinach Chicken". "What?!" I said. Really? He's so easy to please! I'll take it! 


If you're having one of those weeks, heck, even if you're not... spinach chicken can be your new best friend too!




Spinach Chicken
yields 5 - 6 servings


ingredients:
5-6 chicken breasts
1 shallot minced
2-3 garlic cloves minced
3 c. spinach leaves
4 T. (1 good glug) white wine - i like chardonnay, use what you have...
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese (about ¼ c.)
2 T. parmesan cheese
salt + pepper


Preheat oven to 350ยบ. In a saucepan, heat a small drizzle of oil in the bottom of the pan. I use olive oil but anything to coat the bottom of the pan will do. Once pan heats up, add shallot. After 3 - 4 minutes add the garlic and cook one minute more. Add spinach and let it start to wilt. Once spinach starts to cook down a bit, add white wine (the steam will help it wilt completely). Finally add cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.


On a baking sheet, line your chicken breasts. Evenly spread cheese mixture over chicken breasts and cook in oven for about 15 - 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. It may take more or less time depending on the thickness and size of your chicken breasts. 


Serve with your favorite side(s). I usually do roasted potatoes and veggies or brown rice. You can even chop it up and place it over your favorite pasta. 


improv style:
the recipe is very flexible... basically you're creating a flavor spread to bake chicken with. if you don't have cream cheese you can use mascarpone, goat cheese, ricotta, or even brie! full fat, fat free, any work... the only thing you sacrifice with fat free is texture and a little flavor (it all depends on what your preference is). add a dash or worsteshire or dijon mustard to add more flavor. you can substitute yellow or sweet onions for the shallots or leave them out if you're not a fan. LOVE garlic?! add more... don't like wine? don't put it in. you can usually substitute chicken stock or any basic stock when a recipe calls for booze. also, adding in some mushrooms to this mixture would be so tasty! you can add your favorite veggies... red bell peppers, arugula, kale, sun dried tomatoes, eggplant - you get my drift?! mix and match your favorites! it's a really flexible recipe and very forgiving.

5 comments:

  1. When I saw the picture in this post my pants fell off. Literally. I got sent to HR at work for it. Was so embarrassing. Just made this last night. So So delicious. Followed the recipe pretty much exactly as she has it. Improv'd a bit. I used a chive/onion flavored cream cheese I already had in the fridge. Added a little more parmesan cheese. And once I smelled the shallots, garlic, wine and spinach simmering, I couldn't resist but to add a dash of lemon juice. Pinch of red pepper flakes for spice. Made roasted potatoes and also roasted carrots with brown sugar to have along with it. Great meal. SO simple. I went outside and yelled it to the neighborhood then pissed on the neighbors yard. Was a great night.

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  2. such a great idea to use flavored cream cheese spreads! i love your improv suggestions!

    glad you enjoyed the recipe! let me know if you need me to send a note to HR explaining the incident. yummy food can sometimes cause reactions like this. it's totally normal, don't be embarrassed.

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  3. I made this last week and it was increds!

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  4. I finally have an oven...can't wait to make this tonight :)

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    Replies
    1. yes! can't wait to know what you think!

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