Bring out your skillet tonight to prepare this delightful Italian-inspired chicken dish! Spinach, tomatoes, red onions, and capers unite harmoniously, transforming this incredibly straightforward meal into a burst of exquisite flavors. It’s worth noting that this dish also holds up exceptionally well in the freezer.
Among our cherished family favorites is the Italian Skillet Chicken dinner. The chicken is artfully seasoned with oregano, basil, and garlic, while grape tomatoes, onions, and olive oil harmonize to craft a luscious and aromatic pan sauce.
Complete the ensemble by adding a couple of generous handfuls of spinach, culminating in a dinner that graces the table in under half an hour.
Best Chicken for This Recipe
Optimal Chicken Selection for This Recipe Opt for boneless, skinless, thinly sliced chicken breasts, tenderloins, or tenders (according to your supermarket’s labeling). Their slender nature ensures a greater marinade coverage per bite, and their swift cooking time significantly trims down the duration required compared to thicker chicken breasts.
The Best Pan to Use
Utilize a 12-inch skillet (measured across its upper rim) possessing elevated sides for preparing this dish. Employing a smaller skillet might prove insufficient to accommodate the entirety of the ingredients.
Swap Out the Vegetables
Should you choose to prepare this dish on a day when the recommended vegetables are unavailable, there’s no need for concern. You can effortlessly pair the chicken with a side salad, serve it over pasta, or accompany it with a vegetable of your preference.
Preparation for Advance and Freezing
To optimize your budget, seize the opportunity to procure chicken during its sale periods. Dedicate a short period on the weekend to craft multiple marinades, lavishly dress the chicken, and stow them in bags for freezing. This strategy ensures preparedness for days when the luxury of extra time for dinner contemplation eludes you.
Opt for gallon-sized freezer bags designed with a press-to-seal mechanism, rather than those featuring a sliding zipper.
Jot down the date, recipe title, and reference to SimplyRecipes.com to facilitate effortless recipe retrieval in the future.
Combine the chicken with the marinade ingredients within the bag.
Expel as much air as feasible from the bag before sealing it shut.
Gently massage the chicken within the bag until it is thoroughly enrobed in the marinade.
Lay the bag flat for freezing.
This arrangement maintains its quality in the freezer for a span of up to 6 months, while thawing gracefully within the refrigerator for a maximum of 48 hours.
No penchant for planning ahead? Fret not!
It’s entirely feasible to execute the entire cooking process for this dish within a single evening, culminating in a delectable dinner being readily available in 40 minutes or less.
Italian Skillet Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Onions
4 to 6 servings
For the marinade
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders, tenderloin, or thinly sliced chicken breasts
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
3 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the vegetables
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion
2 large handfuls spinach, about 2 packed cups
1 teaspoon capers
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Crusty bread, to serve
Label the bag:
Use a sharpie to write the date and the title of the recipe on a gallon-sized zip top bag so you can easily find it on SimplyRecipes.com when you want to cook it. Alternatively, write the cooking instructions on the bag.
Combine the ingredients:
Roll down the opening of the bag a little just so you don’t accidently get raw chicken juices on the outside of the zip top. Add the chicken, spices, zest, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Smoosh the chicken around so it’s coated in the marinade.
Lay the chicken flat in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months:
Alternatively, you could skip the freezer and let it marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours and up to two days, then cook it according to the directions below.
Thaw the chicken before cooking:
Take the chicken out of the freezer in the morning before you go to work, and it will be ready to cook by the end of the day.
Prepare the onion:
Peel and trim the stem ends of the onion, but leave the stem intact so it can keep the onion layers together. Slice the onion in half. Then slice each half into 5 wedges leaving a little stem with each one.
Cook the chicken:
Set a large skillet over medium heat add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, add chicken and any marinade in the bag. If any chicken is folded up, unfolded it so it lays flat in the pan. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes, then flip it.
Add the vegetables:
Add the onion wedges, tomatoes, and capers. Cover with a lid. Let everything simmer together for 12 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft, and the onions dull in color.
Check the chicken:
Check the chicken to see if it’s cooked through by cutting a piece open. If the juices run clear, and you don’t see any pink the chicken is ready. Use a fork to remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
Finish the sauce:
Turn the heat up to medium high. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the sauce. Stir it in and let the sauce reduce uncovered for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach stir to coat a couple of times until the spinach has wilted.
Nestle the chicken back into the pan, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring the skillet to the table. Spoon up chicken, vegetables and sauces into shallow bowls or plates. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the sauce.
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