Friday, March 13, 2020

On the MENU This Week. Creamy Chicken & Spinach Casserole

We had bought free range chicken pieces and fresh spinach, so Lynne came up with this recipe for supper last night, a melange of three she found on the internet which inspired her. It doesn’t look too glamorous, but the flavour is superb and it doesn’t take very long to prepare. Enjoy! We confess that we did take a slice of bread at the end to sop up the wonderful juices. Prepared in one load shedding period in the morning
and cooked immediately after the blackout which ended at 6.15 pm. Illegitimi non carborundum
8 portions of skinless chicken legs and thighs - 400g bag of fresh baby spinach (not chard)
225g full fat cream cheese or crème fraiche – 125g good Mozzarella cheese, sliced

The marinade:
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped - 2 tablespoons olive oil - 2 tablespoons of mixed herbs, preferably fresh:
oregano, rosemary, thyme, 2 bay leaves. Finely chop the herbs and mix but leave the bay leaves whole - Juice of half a lemon
optional: ½ teaspoon chilli flakes, salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the chicken portions into a casserole so that they all fit snugly. Add the olive oil, garlic, herbs, bay leaves and chilli flakes and season with salt and black pepper. Massage the marinade into the chicken portions and put into the fridge for at least 3 to 4 hours. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the chicken in its marinade uncovered for 20/25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cover the chicken pieces with the cream cheese. Remove from the oven. Cover the chicken pieces with the cream cheese

Cut a small 1cm slit in the bag of the spinach and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until it is wilted. Put the raft of wilted spinach on top of the chicken and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Put the sliced mozzarella cheese on top and return to the oven for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is properly cooked. The cheese on top should be golden. The chicken will be falling off the bone and will produce a very good creamy sauce with superb flavour. Serves 4

We had it with a bottle of Limestone Hill Chardonnay from De Wetshof. The perfect wine to serve with it

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