OK! Let’s agree on something! I HATE spinach; I can’t eat it in any shape or form BUT every member of my family is a HUGE fan of spinach so I end up cooking it A LOT. Not only cooking it the traditional way but also coming up with new recipes & trying to create a homemade version of every spinach dish my husband tastes in any restaurant. So, you can say I hate spinach but I became a spinach expert hahaha.
This recipes is one of my family’s favorites; I cooked it like 4 times last month. The combination of spinach & artichoke is out of this word (as per my family’s review). This is a very common combination in the international food scene but I tried to create my own lighter version that has no butter or cream yet still tastes so creamy & rich. Also, to give it a little middle eastern touch, I seasoned the chicken with sumac because I love sumac with artichoke & it is also very commonly used with spinach.
This is a very flavorful dish packed with veggies + protein & comes together in less than 30 minutes! All you have to do is prepare some rice & lunch will be ready.
CHICKEN WITH SPINACH ARTICHOKE CREAM SAUCE
For the Chicken:
- 500 gm chicken breast fillet cut into cubes
- ½ tsp sumac سماق
- salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the Sauce:
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 3 artichoke hearts boiled & chopped خرشوف
- 2 heaped tbsp Kiri labneh لبنة
- ½ cup chicken stock مرقة
- 1 cup half skimmed milk
- ½ cup spinach (see notes) سبانخ
- salt & pepper
- Season the chicken with sumac, salt & pepper. Heat a large pan over medium high heat until hot. Add the olive oil & cook the chicken until golden & almost cooked through. Remove from the pan & set aside.
- In the same pan, cook the artichoke & garlic for about a minute until the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Reduce heat to medium, stir in the labneh until it melts.
- Add the stock & milk, bring to a boil then stir in the spinach to mix well with the sauce. Reduce heat to low & let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan & let simmer with the sauce for a couple of more minutes until cooked through.
- Turn off heat. Season with salt & pepper.
- Serve immediately with Basmati rice or mashed potato.
- I used frozen spinach as fresh spinach is not always available. Simply thaw the spinach, squeeze it between your hands to get rid of the water then measure ½ a cup. In case of using fresh spinach, make the quantity 1 cup instead of ½ cup.
- In case stock is not available, use ½ cup water + ½ Maggi cube or just ½ cup water.
- In case Kiri labneh is not available, use cream cheese or 3 Kiri squares.
- I don’t feel that the sauce needs any thickener but in case you prefer a thicker sauce, simply dissolve 1 heaped tsp corn flour in 3 tbsp water then whisk into the sauce while its boiling. The sauce will thicken immediately.
- As the sauce cools down, it will become thicker. To loosen the sauce, simply add a little more milk while re-heating.