Lemon Caper Chicken, Spinach, Rice

This one isn’t a splashy meal, but it epitomizes what’s important to me in a dinner: 1 meat, 1 starch, and one veg.  My husband prefers to sauce everything on his plate, so he’d include the sauce as a prerequisite.  But if I add sauce to the pre-req’s, I may as well add bacon because it’s always on hand and almost always makes it into a meal in one form or flavor.  It’s funny that I didn’t realize how tied I was to this “nutritional trinity” until I had to flake out on a side dish or two due to lack of time or ingredients.  It’s so disappointing to have a lonely starch with no veg.

Lemon Caper Chicken
This meal does not require any prep earlier in the day (i.e.,no naptime chores) and allows us to eat dinner at a reasonable hour after the kids are in bed.

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp EVO
1/4 C flour
Salt and pepper chicken. Pour flour onto a plate.  Press chicken into flour on both sides, shaking off excess.  Heat butter and oil in a large skillet (12″) on medium high heat.  Saute chicken for 4 minutes on each side and remove to plate to stay warm.
Pan Sauce
1/2 small onion
1/4 C white wine
3/4 C chicken broth
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp capers
Saute onion in same skillet as chicken until softened.  Deglaze with white wine. Add broth, lemon nad capers.  Reduce for 10 minutes. Add chicken back to pan to cook through, another 10 minutes.

Sauteed Spinach with Bacon
Giant box of baby spinach (think it’s 1-2 lbs)
2 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic
lemon squeeze

Rinse spinach.  Fry 2 slices bacon in a large dutch oven with lid.  Remove bacon when crisp and drain on paper towels.  Add garlic and cook 1 minutes.  Add damp spinach to pot with bacon drippings and toss to coat. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes until wilted.  Remove lid and allow water to evaporate.  Salt and pepper and squeeze lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Rice in a box
Why on earth would I chop and prepare ingredients to jazz up rice when it is one of the easiest and tastiest modern conveniences?  I love Far East Pilafs and rice  mixes.  They are never mushy and if you start them at the beginning of your prep time, you have a hot easy side in 30 minutes.  I learned that the rice/starch is always the time intensive factor in any meal so it always gets first priority on the stove.

Which reminds me, this whole meal was very stove intensive.   I long for the day when I can have all 4-5 burners raging without wonting for space.  The fact is, my pots and pans often encroach onto other burners and I have some flames that are more reliable than others.  So, I made the rice and then re-used that burner for the spinach when it was done.


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