A cozy combination of two Greek Classics for a quick & easy one-pan meal!
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This simple take on two Greek classics means you can have delicious Greek lemony chicken with spinach pilaf any night of the week. I’ve always thought the combination of lemony Greek chicken with spinach and rice pilaf, known as Spanakorizo, made the most delicious meal. So, I effortlessly made it in one skillet. It was inevitable!
You can serve this on its own or as the main course. Try it with a Greek lettuce salad and crusty bread. Or make a loaf of loaded olive and halloumi bread or homemade olive-filled bread to serve with it. Your family will think company is coming over.
Using the stove and oven makes it easier!
I hate browning chicken on the stove because it makes such a mess. So, browning the chicken in the oven is my new favorite thing to do. This recipe goes from the stove to the oven and back again several times. So, be sure to cover your skillet handles with a towel and use potholders each time you need to transfer it.
Why is this the most delicious?
Creamy, fluffy herby rice
Melt in your mouth spinach
Soft, tender onions
Juicy, lemony, herb chicken
A comforting combination of chicken, herbs, and hearty spinach rice pilaf!
What cut of chicken can I use?
The best type of chicken for this recipe is bone-in chicken thighs because they stay nice and juicy. I leave the skin on, but you can remove it if you prefer. Substitute the thighs for drumsticks if that’s what you have.
What do I need to make the marinade?
Olive oil -helps to coat the chicken and distribute the marinade.
Fresh lemon juice -we love lemons, but you can make it as lemony as you like.
Garlic cloves -grated or minced to add sweet, sharp, garlicky flavor.
Dried oregano -adds an earthy and herby flavor to the marinade.
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper -enhances all the marinade flavors.
Ground coriander -adds to the fresh, bright, citrusy flavor
Are there veggies in the pilaf?
Onion -chopped finely or in small pieces because it will be mixed into the rice pilaf.
Olive oil -you can use a light oil to help you cook the onion and use it as a base to help brown the chicken.
Baby spinach leaves -add a little at a time, seasoning with salt and pepper as you add more. This gives the rice a wonderful heartiness and healthy greens.
Rice -your favorite white rice rinsed and soaked for at least 10 minutes. Brown rice won’t work here because it takes much longer to cook, but if that’s what you have, just be sure to adjust the cooking time.
Chicken broth -adds to the delicious juices released from the chicken and spinach and gets soaked up by the rice.
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper -add as you go to build flavor.
Dried dill -or fresh if you have it. You can use oregano instead if that’s what your family likes.
How do you make Delicious Greek Lemony Chicken with Spinach Pilaf?
Preheat the oven to 450 °F, 230 °C. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add all of the marinade ingredients. Toss to coat and set aside.
Add the onion to a large skillet with the oil and cook over medium heat until soft -about 5-6 minutes. Add the chicken with the marinade and place the skillet on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the broiler on for the next 5 minutes and transfer the skillet to the top rack so that the chicken gets some color.
Prepare the rice while the chicken is cooking.
Rinse the rice under cool water 3-4 times and soak it in a bowl of cold water for 10-15 minutes before using.
How to make the spinach and rice pilaf
Remove the skillet from the oven and reduce the heat to 400 °F, 200 °C. Transfer the chicken to a platter, and place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pan and warm through. Then, increase the heat to medium-high and add the spinach in a few batches while lightly seasoning each spinach with salt and pepper.
Drain the rice and add it to the pan with the broth, two teaspoons salt, and dill, and bring to a boil.
Bring it all together!
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the chicken on top. Cover the pan with foil and bake it in the oven covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
What’s the best way to serve it?
When you remove the skillet from the oven, let it sit for a few minutes to settle. You can remove the chicken or move it around in the pan as you fluff the rice. I like to cut lemon wedges for anyone who wants a more lemony flavor. If you have some feta and olives, they go so well with this. But if you want the chef’s kiss, serve it with tzatziki. The cool cucumber and dill flavor takes it over the top. Kali Orexi!
More Skillet Meals:
- Mediterranean Chicken & Olives
- Greek Lemony Chicken & Rice
- Shrimp & Orzo Skillet
- Greek Ground beef & Rice
- Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4-5 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
- salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
The Spinach Rice:
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 pounds baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups rice, rinsed and soaked at least 10 minutes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried dill or oregano
- lemon wedges for garnish
Preheat the oven to 450 °F, 230 °C.
Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add all of the marinade ingredints on top. Toss to coat.
Add the onion to a large skillet alond with teh oil and cook over medium heat until soft. About 5-6 minutes. Add the chicken with the marinade and place the skillet on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the broiler on for the next 5 minutes and transfer the skillet to the top rack so that the chicken gets some color.
Rinse the rice under cool water 3-4 times and soak in a bowl of cold water.
Remove the skillet form the oven and Reduce the heat to 400 °F, 200 °C.
Note: Keep the skillet's handle wrapped with a towel to keep from getting burned.
Transfer the chicken to a platter.
Add the garlic to the pan and warm through over medium heat. Add the spinach in a few batches. Increase the heat to medium-high and season each batch of spinach lightly with salt and pepper.
Drain the rice and add it the the pan with the broth, 2 teaspoons salt, dill and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and add the chicken on top.
Cover the pan with foil and bake it in the oven covered for 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges, feta, and olives. Kali Orexi!
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