Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Spin on Leftovers

Today I have two brand new recipes for you! I set out to create a recipe where I could use the leftovers to make something totally different. Now, I am not opposed to leftovers at all. I've been eating the leftovers from my pappa al pomidoro since Monday, and I still have at least four servings left! But I do know that feeling when you want to keep things interesting, or maybe you have a significant other who isn't a fan of eating the same meal two nights in a row. So here you go!

Night 1: Lemon-Herb Chicken with Spinach Sauteed with Feta
For the chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless, organic chicken breasts 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 lemons
To create a simple marinade, rinse the chicken breasts and place them in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, combine the oregano, basil, powder, salt, and pepper. Rub the spices on the chicken breasts and then cover the breasts in chicken stock (about 1 1/2 cups stock). Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight, if you wish. 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil and butter in a pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is lightly browned. Place the breasts in a small baking dish. Add the other 1/2 cup of stock and the juice from two lemons (feel free to add some lemon zest if you want a little extra lemon flavor!). Then thinly slice 1/2 of one of the lemons and place the slices on top of the breasts. Bake, covered, for 20-25 minutes.
Lemon slices atop the chicken
For the spinach:
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
In a medium pan over medium-low heat, cook down the spinach by handfuls until just wilted. Add the garlic powder and feta cheese and cook another two minutes. 

Serve the chicken with the spinach and squeeze that last 1/2 lemon over everything. Enjoy!

Lemon-Herb Chicken with Spinach 

Night 2: Chicken, Spinach, and Feta Pasta
  • Leftover cooked chicken breast from last night, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
Boil the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium heat, add the diced chicken and spinach (the water from the spinach will keep the chicken moist). Cook down the spinach, stirring often. Once the spinach is wilted, remove from heat.

Reheating the chicken while cooking down the spinach

Drain the pasta. In the pasta pot (while the pasta is in the colander), add the spinach-chicken mixture, the crushed tomatoes, and the spices. Bring to a boil, add the pasta back in, and stir in the feta. Serve warm.
Working on my food photography skills...

I really loved both of these meals! The chicken came out perfectly moist and tender both nights. On Night 1, the chicken was lemony but not overly so. The combination of flavors gave a great Mediterranean taste to the whole dish. I ate it with brown rice for some whole grains, and everything came together deliciously. On Night 2, I thought the tomatoes and pasta were a great addition to the flavors. The lemon was much more subdued among all the other flavors but still lent a refreshing hint in the back of the dish, and the meal was loaded with spinach (hooray for vegetables!). Hope you enjoy one or both of these dishes!

*By the way, if you're vegetarian, I would bet that this pasta dish would taste equally delicious without the chicken!

1 comment:

  1. Looks so much better than what I've been eating while out here. Can't wait for a home cooked meal.