Skillet Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Spinach
and pesto roasted potatoes
Chicken cooked in a skillet with aromatics and a creamy spinach sauce is both rustic and elegant. Give the main dish your full attention while the oven does all the work on a roasted potato side dish.
Pesto Roasted Potatoes:
- Potatoes, russet - 1 lb , cubed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
- Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
- Cheese, parmesan - 1 oz
- Basil leaves - 1 1/2 oz
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
Skillet Chicken with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Spinach:
- Onions, medium - 1/2 , chopped
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil - 1/2 cup , drained and chopped
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 lb (sub chicken breasts, halved)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Flour - 3 Tbsp
- Thyme, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Wine, white - 3/4 cup (sub stock)
- Stock, any type - 1/4 cup
- Heavy cream - 1/4 cup
- Spinach, baby - 3 oz
- Onions / Garlic (portion for the chicken) / Sun-dried tomatoes - Prep as directed. Combine onions and tomatoes in one container. Store garlic separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pesto - Double if making Thursday’s meal. Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves (portion for the pesto). Place nuts, garlic, cheese (reserve the rind if making Thursday’s meal), basil leaves and lemon juice into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
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- Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
- While oven heats, cube potatoes (you can peel them or leave them unpeeled).
- Spread potatoes out onto a sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. ‘Steam’ in oven for 10 minutes.
- While potatoes steam, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the first part of cooking oil (portion for the chicken). When oil is hot, sear chicken until golden brown on both sides and nearly cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Once potatoes have steamed, remove foil and toss with cooking oil (portion for the potatoes) and some salt and pepper. Return pan to oven and roast until potatoes are tender and golden brown, another 20 to 24 minutes.
- Return the skillet used to cook the chicken to medium-high heat and add second part of cooking oil (portion for the chicken). Add onions, sun-dried tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Saute until onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add garlic, flour and dried thyme and stir until no dry spots of flour remain, ~1 minute more. Pour wine and stock over top and bring to a simmer. Simmer until wine has reduced by half, ~ 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low-medium and stir in cream and spinach. Nestle chicken in spinach and cover pan loosely with foil or with a lid, slightly ajar. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and spinach is wilted, 3 to 4 minutes more.
- When potatoes are finished, toss with pesto (remember to reserve half if doubled).
- Serve chicken with potatoes on the side. (The spinach cream sauce is great spooned over both the chicken and potatoes.) Enjoy!