Sunday, November 28, 2010

Garlic and Spinach Chicken

"A stroke of genius," says my husband, "a sheer stroke of genius!"
As we found ourselves facing an anemic selection of meats in our grocery store (there was only a couple of cuts of chicken and a bunch of turkeys), I was disheartened. My husband, however, came up with some inspiration, "Why don't we try to make the La Isla chicken with the spinach tonight?" La Isla is one of our favorite restaurants that we go to once in a blue moon because it is in Hoboken, New Jersey and we don't ever really have any other reason to go there except for food. It is a small cafeteria style Cuban restaurant and we could have walked right by it on the street if my mother hadn't introduced us to it so many years ago! It has been awhile since our last visit, so I wasn't sure I would have any way at all of wiping the cobwebs from my brain to access the flavor memories required to put this together. After looking back at the options before me, I said, "I can try..."

When we arrived home my husband was about ready to plant himself in front of the XBox to continue with his day's Halo: Reach daily challenge (I so wish I was making this up! However, since I am currently engaged in daily blogging challenges I suppose I should not be the first to throw stones...). As I saw him enter the living room I thought I would try something different, "Hey! I thought you were going to help out with this. This dinner was your idea - do you have any clue how to do this?" He was caught off guard, said he had no idea, but thought it had something to do with butter and garlic. I told him he was off the hook and that he should get out of my way, but it was too late: he was invested and now he was going to help.

It is for this reason that my husband should get about 80% of the credit for this dinner and recipe that follows. His taste memory helped us determine exactly what to put in and how to tweak as we went along. (It should also be noted that he did some real serious garlic work and would like the world to know that peeling garlic cloves is the most annoying and arduous kitchen task ever!) His pride as he ate his meal was palpable and I am so happy for him.

Cilantro & Lime Rice


    • 3 cups white rice
    • 3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • salt


  1.  Put the washed rice in the rice maker.
  2. Add olive oil, cilantro, lime juice and salt to the rice. Stir.
  3. Add enough water to cover the rice (use the measurement tool in your rice maker).
  4. Cook the rice - do not peek.

While the rice is cooking, you can prepare the chicken.

Garlic & Spinach Chicken



  1. Begin sauteing the garlic in a pan large enough to eventually hold all four cutlets and the spinach with about 1 tbs of the Earth Balance to begin with.
  2. In a separate pan, begin cooking the cutlets (seasoned with some salt). We used a grill pan.
  3. As the chicken continues to cook, gradually add the rest of the Earth Balance to the garlic, to create a buttery-garlic sauce. Bring it up to a simmer.
  4. Flip the chicken cutlets over.
  5. Add the spinach to the buttery-garlic sauce. Stir to ensure all of the leaves are covered in the sauce. Cover the pan and lower the heat.
  6. When the spinach has wilted (no more than two minutes), add the chicken to the pan, placing the spinach on top of the cutlets. If necessary, add more Earth Balance to the pan to ensure you have a bit of a sauce left in the pan (the spinach has a tendency to be a sauce-sucker!).
  7. Cook for at least two minutes in the sauce and then serve.

Tonight's dinner was delicious. It came close to our La Isla experience, it was our first experiment with our new Earth Balance buttery spread, but most importantly it gave my husband a feeling of pride. I can't believe I almost let him off the hook and missed sharing that great joy with him.

Food shares so many gifts with us... how delicious and serendipitous!


  1. Thank you! I will let you know how dinner is tomorrow night since I will be making this! I love finding inspiration at the click of the mouse! :)

  2. We enjoyed it, I hope you do too! The only thing missing from the meal that we normally have EVERY time we go to La Isla was some black beans. I posted our recipe for them in an earlier post in case you wanted to go the whole nine yards!
    Searching for Sustenance: Meatless Monday #2: Success, But I Need BRAIN FOOD


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