I was drawing a complete blank for dinner tonight. I was sure about two things: I wanted to use up a few slices of bacon in our fridge, and I wanted something simple.
Thinking back to a simple appetizer we had at an Italian restaurant recently with sausage, spinach and cannellini beans, it was starting to sound pretty good. I took that idea and ran with it, making a similar dish with chicken instead of sausage, and making it very easy on myself by using one pan. I have been making a few one-pot meals lately and they are so easy–not to mention they make clean up all that much easier.
This was so, so tasty. There are some meals I feel really surprise you with how delicious they are and this is one of them. I obviously liked all the ingredients going into it (I did make up the recipe after all, hah), but between the ease of preparation and the simplicity of ingredients, this meal really delivers some comforting, delicious goodness.
Chicken Stew with White Beans and Spinach
Serves 2-4 (but really? probably 2 :)
2-3 slices bacon, chopped
4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skinless
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
a couple dashes of crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. oregano
1 can cannellini or other white beans, drained
4 cups fresh spinach
salt and pepper
In a large saute pan with lid, cook the bacon until it has rendered its fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off the bacon fat until about 1 Tbsp. remains in the pan.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and sear it in the bacon fat, to brown, on both sides. Remove from pan.
Add the onions and cook until tender. Stir in the garlic and once the garlic becomes fragrant, stir in the tomato paste. Cook approximately one minute.
Add the wine to the pan to deglaze. Cook for about 2 minutes, scraping up the browned bits. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back in the pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash about 1/3 of the can of beans with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon–not into a paste, but just breaking up some of the beans (this will make the texture of the final product better). After the chicken has simmered 15 minutes, add the whole beans and the mashed beans into the pan. Cover, simmering an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Add back in the bacon and the spinach. Cook just until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve with some crusty bread to sop up the tomato-y goodness.
Nutritional Information per serving (for 2 servings and 2 slices of bacon total; based on sparkrecipes.com): Calories: 432 / Fat: 9g / Saturated Fat: 2.5g / Carbs: 17.3g / Dietary Fiber: 12.1g / Protein: 42g