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Roasted Chicken with Smoky Corn and Spinach

December 29, 2009

When we got back from the holidays, we needed an infusion of vegetables to ward off all the damage we’d done with

smoky chicken, spinach and corn

sweets, libations and snacks.  I saw this recipe in the Bon Appetit recipe requests from restaurants and was drawn to all the vegetables and the use of chipotle pepper.  It was a big hit and was pretty simple to make despite the long ingredient list.  I will probably roast chicken with this method from now on, because it was quick and unbelievably juicy.  I made a few adaptations, such as using chipotle pepper sauce instead of the adobo it called for, and using canned tomatoes instead of fresh in the sauce.  This recipe serves 4 generously.


For the chicken:

1 3 1/2-4 lb chicken, backbone removed and cut into 2 breasts and 2 leg/thigh pieces

2 T olive oil

For the corn:

1 T olive oil

1 3/4 c fresh or frozen corn (if using fresh, you need about 3 cobs)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 white wine

1 c chicken stock

1 t chipotle pepper sauce (such as the Tabasco variety)

1 c tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 T unsalted butter

2 T fresh chopped cilantro

For the spinach:

1 T olive oil

1 T unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (but left whole)

3-9 oz bags of fresh spinach

1 t chipotle pepper sauce (such as the Tabasco variety)

For the tomato sauce:

1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, drained

1/4 t cayenne pepper

2 T olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat 2 T olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in skillet skin side down.  Cook for 6 minutes, until chicken is browned.  Transfer skillet to oven and roast 35-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  (Don’t transfer the chicken to a baking sheet like I did- the fat will smoke and fill the house).

Meanwhile, prepare the corn by heating 1 T olive oil in another skillet over medium heat heat.  Add the garlic and corn and cook for about 4 minutes.  Add wine and cook for another 4 minutes, until thickened.  Add tomatoes, broth, chipotle pepper and butter and season to taste with salt.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until corn is tender and thickened.  Add cilantro, stir and keep warm.

While corn is cooking, place drained fire roasted tomatoes, cayenne, oil and salt and pepper in a blender and process until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and heat on low until ready to serve.

When chicken is almost done, prepare the spinach.  Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat until melted.  Add smashed garlic cloves and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Turn up heat to high and add 1 bag of spinach, stirring constantly until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Add another bag of spinach and cook 2-3 minutes until wilted, then repeat with remaining bag.  Add chipotle pepper and stir to incorporate, then turn off heat.

To serve, place corn and spinach on plates.  Top with chicken and spoon the tomato sauce over the top.

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