Chicky-Pea Simmer

You probably have all the ingredients for this one right in your cupboard. I know this, because as dinner time approached I realized I had absolutely nothing to cook with, except for these ingredients. This was further complicated by the fact that I had taken out bone-in chicken thighs, forgetting that our oven is out of the commission from a few dinners ago when I made a big mess, burnt it twice, and keep forgetting to pick up oven cleaner. D’oh!

And so, this recipe was born, and it is damn delicious. I can’t believe I was scraping the bottom of the cupboards for the ingredients, because they work together so well!

Chicky-pea simmer

3-6 Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes
Half can of water
1 can of tomato paste
3 tbsp Italian salad dressing
1 can chickpeas
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
Extra spices to taste
1 cup frozen spinach, or an enormous amount of fresh spinach

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. On skin side, sprinkle with the oregano, basil rosemary and parsley. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place chicken skin-side down in out oil. Be careful as the oil will spit from the height. Sprinkle first amount of balsamic vinegar on bottom side of chicken.

Leave chicken without moving for about 6 minutes, until skin is well browned and crisped. Flip chicken, and cook on the other side for six minutes until browned. Flip back to skin side for another three minutes.

Allow balsamic to reduce into chicken and oil. Once the oil has turned back to a golden colour and chicken skin is well browned, pour in canned tomatoes, water, tomato paste, dressing, chickpeas and the second amount of balsamic vinegar. Stir until combined.

Add sugar, and add a few extra teaspoons of the spices if you want. You can also do this later once the chicken has finished and you’ve had a chance to taste it.

Raise heat until the pot is boiling well, and then lower it again. Simmer on medium-low heat with the lid on until the chicken is well cooked. Taste the sauce, and add any extra spices you feel you need. Add the spinach and allow to heat up again. Once it is boiling again, remove the lid and simmer until the sauce reduces by about 50 per cent. You can cook until the chicken falls off the bone if you want, or simply serve it once the flavour is there. 

Spoon out the mixture into a shallow pasta bowl, and top with the chicken. Yum!

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