This weeknight skillet dinner is everything my family loves:
Sun dried tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, goat cheese and tender chicken smothered in a creamy sauce. A Wilson family favorite. Sometimes I throw in bow tie pasta, onions or mushrooms- just depends on what I have on hand.
I don’t even bother to measure when I make this dish. I ‘ve done it SO many times.
My adult children always ask me, “How do you get your chicken so tender.”
I have two tricks-
• Slice your chicken in half- lengthwise. This creates a thin piece of chicken which will cook faster and not dry out.
• Cover your chicken and cook on low heat. I almost always cover my skillet with a lid or even a baking sheet. Trapping in the steam makes for a juicy and very tender piece of chicken. Even when doing a stir fry- I’ll cover it for a few minutes to trap in heat and steam. Cover and Smother!
Let me know how you like this quick weeknight skillet dinner.
Smothered Chicken with… the goods
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
4 cups fresh spinach, washed
1/2 cup Nicoise Olives
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, slivered
1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 can coconut milk
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika
2 oz goat cheese
1 Sprig of Rosemary
2 TBSP toasted pine nuts, optional
Method- prep time- 20 minutes. Cookng time: 20 minutes
- On a large dinner plate, combine flour and spices- salt, white pepper, garam masala & paprika. Dredge each chicken breast in the flour. Set adside. Throw away any extra flour.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 TBSP of olive oil on medium high heat until just shimmering. Brown the chicken on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. It will not be cooked through. Do not try to flip the chicken until it releases easily from the pan. This will tear the chicken and remove the coating. Set chicken aside on a clean plate to rest.
- In the chicken juices, stir the garlic in the pan and cook for 1 minute. add in the sun dried tomatoes and olives. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth stirring to loosen the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add in the rosemary sprig.
- Gently fold in the cream or coconut milk. Nestle the chicken and the juices on the plate back into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cover cooking for another 7-8 minutes.
- Remove the cover and stir in the cherry tomatoes, spinach and dollops of goat cheese. Cook until spinach wilts down- about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve with the vegetables and spoonfuls of the cream sauce.
For other options, you can sauté onions, muchrooms and Swiss chard . You can omit the garam masala and use garlic powder and a squeeze of lemon. This sauce is VERY forgiving. Just season the flour with whatever spices you like and be sure to “cover and smother”.
If you use coconut milk, it does have a tendancy to “split”, so just whisk it very well.