The older I get, the more I really enjoy cooking. Years ago, when I was training in the Air Force, I went through culinary school (don’t laugh - we learned a lot!). Now I love the creativity that can go into cooking a good meal and being able to put healthy food on the table for my family.
Weather plays a big role in how we eat in my household, and yesterday was such a randomly cold and blustery day (it’s been so warm lately), I really wanted something hearty and cozy for dinner. I found this recipe from the Cookin’ Canuck and modified it a bit to match our tastes. My husband loved it, and even asked why I had made something with cream (I’m dairy free - spoiler alert: there’s no cream!). I don’t typically like mushrooms or cooked spinach, and I even enjoyed it. Everything in it is good for you, and it’s the perfect one pot (queue the angels singing) meal for a cold night!
2 tablespoons (ish) olive oil
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup quinoa
5 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
6 bone in chicken thighs
1 yellow onion (Diced)
8 oz chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
2 huge handfuls of fresh spinach
Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. I don’t measure spices, but best I can guess, I used approximately 1-3 teaspoons of each, depending on how you prefer things to taste.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and brown the chicken thighs - approximately 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove thighs and set them aside on a plate. Tent the plate with aluminum foil. *Some of the best cooking advice I can give you is to find a good olive oil you love (note: this does NOT always mean “an expensive one”!). It makes such a huge difference! My favourite is a brand called “La Española” - Matt brought it back from Spain once, and I’ve been able to find it in the local Edeka on ocassion!
Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pain and sauté the onions, garlic, and mushrooms until soft (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
Cover pan and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Place the chicken thighs back into the pan, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes - until the chicken is cooked the whole way through and all of the chicken broth has been soaked up.
Remove chicken and add in the fresh spinach. Stir until spinach is cooked to your liking.
Serve chicken over the quinoa and vegetable mixture. Bon appétit!