Oct 5

This dinner started with chicken that I had to cook because it had been hanging out in the fridge for a couple days.  I had some spinach I wanted to use and I had bought Fava Beans which I’ve never cooked before.  I poked around looking for an exciting Chicken recipe (and yes! There is such a thing!)  I found several lemon chicken recipes that looked super sweet, I am not a fan of sweet dinners.  I eventually found a couple that relied on garlic – and I added my spin with the spinach and oregano.  The spinach added nutrition, fiber and color to what was otherwise a very beige plate of food.  I’ve never eaten a fava bean so I made them as a side dish to an already full meal, that way we could try them without any pressure.

Dinner took a while to make but it turned out spectacular.  Our teenage son, who often refuses to eat, went back for seconds.  He thought he was going to get by with pushing the the spinach around his plate rather than eating it — but it wasn’t hard to convince him to.   He absolutely loved the fava beans, in fact we all did it was the first thing we tried and we finished our portions before going on to the rest of the meal.

When you read the recipe for the chicken,  you are going to think that it’s too much garlic.  The garlic really mellows out during cooking and becomes very sweet.  Early on when learning to cook someone told me to always add garlic late so that you don’t over cook it.  I think that they were a fan of the sharp spicy garlic flavor (and I am too – in moderation) but when gently coaxed, garlic becomes mild and adds a sweet buttery flavor.

I like to be transported when I eat — I’m not sure where this meal took us, I don’t think it was traditional anything, but it was still a comfortable, satisfying journey.

Lemony Garlic Chicken  (click here for printable link)

8 chicken thighs bone in, skin on

1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper

Olive oil to cover pan (about 1/8 inch)

2 onions sliced thin

1/2 cup minced garlic

zest and juice of one large or two small lemons

2 Cups Chicken Broth

1 sprig fresh oregano (or 1tsp dried)

1 Bag baby spinach

1lb angel hair pasta

Parmesan for garnish

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees

Dredge chicken in flour and set aside.  Chop Onions and prepare garlic while chicken is resting.  I used the food processor for both.  Slicing disc for the onions and the blade attachment for the garlic, I streamed about 2T olive oil in with the processor running so it formed a paste.

Heat a pan with olive oil until almost smoking, add the chicken and thoroughly brown.  (maybe 3 – 4 minutes per side).  Season the chicken again while cooking, when browned remove from the pan and set aside.

Add onions to the pan and cook until transparent — if you get some color that’s OK, but you may need to lower the heat, the goal is to soften them and get that yummy onion flavor throughout the oil, not to caramelize.  After about three minutes add the garlic and stir.  Let this cook for about one minute and add the lemon juice.  Be sure to scrape up any brown bits from the pan.  Add the chicken stock and oregano sprig nestle chicken in the pan.  When it’s reached a simmer put a tight lid on the pan and move it to the oven for 20 minutes.

After removing the chicken from the oven, stir the spinach into the pan and replace the lid.  The heat will cook the spinach. *Note, this makes a pretty thin sauce.  I liked it and felt the texture complimented the light flavors and light pasta really well.  If you prefer thicker sauce you could remove the chicken, onions and spinach from the pan and reduce the sauce to the desired consistency.

Serve atop angel hair pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Fava Beans  (Click Here for Printable Recipe)

1 lb fava beans

2 slices bacon diced small (or pancetta if you have it)

1/2 onion diced fine

1 clove minced garlic

Remove fava beans from their outside shell and blanch in salted water for about 3 minutes, immerse in ice water and using a small knife or your fingernail remove the outer skin.  (according to other recipes I read you can skip this step and the skins will come off in the pan, but that sounded gross to me so I removed them prior to sauteing.

Heat a 10 inch skillet over medium heat.  Render the bacon fat and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until soft.  Add the fava beans, season with salt and pepper and saute for about 15 minutes.

As you can see from the photo — we paired this with a nice sauvignon blanc.

I’m off to wine again!  Cheers!

6 Responses to “Garlic Lemon Chicken with Fresh Spinach and Fava Beans”

  1. I know that Sauvignon Blanc… haven’t had it since our trip out to Sterling when I was last in Napa. I DO have a bottle of the Chard and Cab saved in my wine fridge from that trip.

    How did you like their Sauvignon Blanc?


  2. I thought the wine was a nice compliment, but Sterling is so commercial, it lacked any character. It was OK, not memorable for being great or for being bad. Then again, it’s a $13 bottle of wine so I didn’t expect it to sing! 🙂

  3. I have to agree with you on that one… I was surprised by their Reserve Chard though. Sheila usually doesn’t like Chardonnays but she loved this one. While I am not sure if that’s a good or bad sign, I still decided to pick up a bottle. Overall, I was turned off by the fact that they were so commercial despite the cool cable car ride to the top of the hill! 🙂


  4. Everyone is posting pasta…I am making some pasta tomorrow. Good thing. i am craving pasta now.

  5. Dawn, where do you get fava beans? Dumb question – but do they come in a bag? A can? They look delicious!

  6. I get my fava beans in the produce section. The typical season is spring. In Florida they package produce on a Styrofoam tray (unlike California where you could buy the amount you needed) They look like giant green beans and when you pop the pod the inside looks like Styrofoam packaging. I’m going to make more this week, I’ll post some pictures.

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