Cleaning out the fridge is almost always an exercise in experimentation. This recipe was born out of the need to do something with some bone-in chicken thighs and some leftover pizza sauce (really just whole tomatoes and garlic simmered together).
A sort through the fridge revealed half a bag of spinach, half a sweet onion, a little leftover pesto and some capers. I opted to save the pesto for another day and came up with this little number.
Chicken Simmered with Spinach, Capers and Onions
Rub for Chicken
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, chopped
1 cup pasta/pizza sauce
½ cup full bodied red wine
2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
4 cups fresh spinach, washed and torn into bite size pieces
3 oz spaghetti
¼ cup fresh basil
freshly grated Parmesan for serving
1. Combine all rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub all over chicken thighs.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken thighs, 2-3 minutes on each side. Don't worry about cooking all the way through, you just want to get a good colour going. Remove chicken from pan. Add in onion and sauté until translucent.
3. Pour in wine and deglaze the pan for about 30 seconds. You don't want it to all evaporate though. Stir in pasta sauce and capers. Return chicken to pan. Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook, turning chicken once, for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked and tender.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a full boil and cook pasta, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
5. Remove chicken from pan and pull meat from bones, discarding fat and bones. Add spinach to skillet, cover and let cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Return chicken meat to pan. Toss to incorporate. Add in pasta and toss again.
Serve with basil and Parmesan and the rest of the bottle of wine. Makes enough for 2 for a rainy weekend dinner.