Recipe: A light but warming bowl of goodness... spring chicken

Di Curtin shares a recipe for Spring Chicken with Mushrooms and Spinach
Recipe: A light but warming bowl of goodness... spring chicken

Di Curtin's Spring Chicken with Mushrooms and Spinach.

THE daffodils have been out for a while and there’s the first peepings of leaves breaking through on the trees in my garden. The lawn has had its first mowing of the year and I’ve had my first breakfast outdoors — so it’s officially spring in my book!

With clocks set to go forward soon, and already a ‘grand stretch’ in the evenings, we’ll be moving into the season of outdoor eating in a big way.

Until then though, we still need a bit of warmth and sustenance as there’s a chill present when it starts to get dark. So we mustn’t count our chickens just yet. Unless its my fantastic Spring Chicken Skillet dish that fits the bill for the change in the season.

I’ve used skinless chicken breast fillets for this chicken dish, but you could use chicken thighs on the bone. It would just mean you’d need to cook the dish for longer to make sure the meat is cooked through to the bone. This has a very lightly thickened chicken stock broth, flavoured with fresh rosemary and thyme. The addition of chestnut mushrooms gives a nice woody flavour to the gravy, while fresh leaves of baby spinach added at the end gives a lovely ‘green’ touch for the time of year.

This makes a great weekend dish, or if you’re using chicken breast fillets, you could even knock it up as a fast midweek dinner. Served with little new potatoes bathed in butter, it really does feel like we are heading for brighter days in culinary terms.

If you can get your hands on some fresh mint, or if you have it growing in your garden, add that to the spuds too. I spotted wild mint on a woodland walk quite recently, beginning to shoot up quite prolifically — its leaves are a lot thicker — make sure it comes from an unpolluted spot and always give it good rinse at home.

SPRING CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 tbsp olive oil 

Generous knob of butter 

200g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 

4 skinless chicken breast fillets, in chunks 

2 tbsp flour seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper 

350mls chicken stock 

1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves 

Few sprigs of thyme chopped 

3 good handfuls baby spinach leaves, rinsed and shaken dry 

Method:

  • Heat oil and butter in a pan and cook mushrooms and garlic till soft but not browned. Remove and reserve.
  • Dust chicken in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Add chicken to pan with an extra splash of oil and cook till browned and sealed.
  • Return mushroom mix to pan and pour over stock. Stir and add herbs.
  • Bring to bubbling and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Add spinach leaves to wilt.
  • Check seasoning and serve with buttered baby potatoes.

SPRING CHICKEN RECEIPT 

Chestnut mushrooms 200g 79c

Baby Spinach 200g pack €1.29

Chicken fillets x 4 €6.00

Rosemary pack €1.19

Thyme pack €1.19

Total: €10.46

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