Entries tagged with “spinach”.


Lucy Waverman recently published this recipe from Estonia in the Globe and Mail. She described it as a “powerful, full-flavoured but not spicy dish with the taste of the sun that we sorely need at this time of the year.” Estonia is in the Baltic region of northern Europe and Tallinn is its capital city. You can make this dish ahead, and serve it with rice or egg noodles. However to be truly Estonian, Lucy says to serve it with black rye bread.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure your spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. I used nitrite-free bacon instead of pancetta and a red wine with a sulfite count of less than 10 parts per million. Unico tomatoes and Pilaros olives are additive-free.

Season the chicken thighs

Use only the white and pale green part of the leeks

Brown the chicken well and set aside

Bacon and parboiled garlic add flavour

Saute the bacon and vegetables

Add spinach and chicken and then bake

Chicken from Tallinn

Ingredients:

1 head garlic, separated into cloves

1 ½  lb (750 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs

½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground fennel

½ tsp (2.5 ml) chili flakes

1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped pancetta

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

4 leeks, white and light green parts only, well washed

½ cup (125 ml) red wine

1 ½ cups (375 ml) drained canned tomatoes, chopped

1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock

½ cup (125 ml) Kalamata olives, pitted, halved

1 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon or 1 tsp grated lemon zest

4 cups (1 L) packed baby spinach

4 caper berries

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C).

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove root end from garlic cloves and add to water. Boil for 2 minutes. Drain and peel garlic cloves. Reserve.

Cut thighs in half. Sprinkle with fennel, chili flakes, rosemary, salt and pepper. Slice leeks on a diagonal into ½-inch (1.27 cm) pieces.

Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over high heat. Brown chicken in batches, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and reserve.

Add pancetta to pan and cook for 1 minute. Reduce skillet heat to medium-low. Add garlic cloves and leeks, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until soft. Add red wine and bring to boil, reduce by half. Add tomatoes and stock, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add olives and preserved lemon and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Return chicken to skillet.

Transfer to oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in centre. Sprinkle with parsley. Top each portion with a caper berry. Serves 4.

From Lucy Waverman

Paillard is a term used for meat, usually veal or chicken, that is pounded thin and then quickly seared on top on the stove. This recipe for chicken paillards from Martha Stewart Living is healthy and quick to make for a weeknight supper. In addition to the chicken, it includes roasted squash and onion, and a garnish of fried sage leaves and baby spinach. And, if you’ve had a tough day, pounding the chicken can be very therapeutic!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The only thing that may contain artificial ingredients is the butter, which can contain colour. Look for a brand of butter that has only one ingredient: cream.

Toss the squash and onion with oil and put in the oven to roast.

Pound the chicken to a thickness of about a quarter-in

Fry the sage leaves

The sage should be crispy

The thin paillards sear quickly on top on the stove

Chicken paillards with squash, onion, fried sage and spinach

Ingredients:

½ small kabocha or acorn squash, unpeeled, seeded and cut lengthwise into ¾ -inch (1.9 cm) slices

1 small red onion, cut into wedges, root end attached

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves, 4 to 5 ounces each, (113 g to 141 g each), butterflied

Red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsalted butter

16 fresh sage leaves (from about 4 sprigs)

1 cup (250 ml) baby spinach leaves

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Distribute squash and onion evenly on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, season with salt, and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast until squash is tender, about 15-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, pound chicken to a 1/8 to ¼ -inch (0.3 cm to 0.6 cm) thickness (use the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, a rolling pin or a heavy pot). Season on both sides with salt and red pepper flakes. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Swirl in remaining tablespoon (15 ml) oil, then butter. Fry sage until just crisp, about 1 minute; let drain on a paper towel.

Working in 2 batches, add chicken to pan and cook until golden and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Divide chicken among 4 plates and top with spinach, squash, onion, and sage. Serves 4.

From Martha Stewart Living