So simple, so colorful, and soooo good! I had a bag of fresh spinach and a pound of defrosted boneless chicken breast in the fridge. A lovely tomato sat on the counter. In my mind, that’s a no brainer. BUT! I didn’t want to stuff the chicken, it was too cold to grill, and quite frankly, I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. All the recipes I found online just didn’t “do” it for me, so I set out to combine several of them with the parts I liked, then completely improvised from there. My family gobbled this right up, and now I have yet another easy weeknight dinner I can put into my rotation.
Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or other seasoning, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
10-ounce bag of fresh spinach
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan or dish with oil. Halve the chicken breast(s) lengthwise, and if needed, pound to an even thickness. Season the chicken breast with Mrs. Dash or other seasoning, to taste. Add the chicken to a 1 quart resealable plastic bag and add the balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, lemon juice, and baking soda. (My husband made me add the baking soda. He swears up and down it makes any meat more tender or juicy.) Seal the bag and squish it all around to coat, and set aside. Next, line the bottom of the baking dish with all the spinach, then drizzle the chicken broth over it. Now sprinkle the crushed red pepper, green onions and a little bit more balsamic vinegar evenly over the spinach. Place the chicken on top of spinach, then drizzle the liquid from the bag over everything. Now add the tomatoes on top, and grind black pepper over it all. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and spread the breadcrumb/cheese mixture over the chicken, then lightly spray with oil. Put back in the oven and bump it up to broil for 10 minutes. You’ll end up with some extra liquid in the pan, but I don’t think I would skip the chicken broth for fear of drying out the spinach. Serve with couscous or rice of choice. Spicy, tangy, delicious!