October 03, 2022

Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Bacon - no cream cheese in this sauce


Typically I make this dish in various ways based on what I decide to throw in, but usually it includes cream cheese.  This time around I really did not want cream cheese in a sauce; I wasn't in the mood for it, as it's just so, so rich and I didn't want that rich of a sauce.   I left it out and we did not miss it a bit.  It was so, so very good.  Mr. Husband took all the leftovers to work with him the next day for lunch and told me three or four different times how much he really loved this dish.   I found that so funny because it's basically the same type dish I typically make; just sans cream cheese this time.
Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Bacon

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6-8)
olive oil
6 t minced garlic
1 small onion
1/3 c crumbled, cooked bacon
1 1/2 c half and half or heavy cream
2 handfuls fresh spinach or a handful sized helping of frozen, chopped
1/2 - 3/4 c parmesan cheese
dried red chili pepper flakes
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

In an instant pot cooker, heat to 'saute' setting, add the oil.  Salt and pepper the the chicken and sear it in the oil.  Add about 3/4 c water to the cooker, seal and cook about 8 minutes until done.  Release steam.  If you opt to cook them in a pan on the stove, heat the oil, season them and sear them in the pan.  Once they are seared, add about 1/2 cup water and continue to cook until done.  Remove them and the broth from the pan and set aside.

In the skillet place the butter, cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften, then add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Pour in the broth from the instant pot or the pan you cooked the chicken in.  Let this simmer to reduce a bit while you crisp the bacon pieces.  I use 'real bacon pieces' from the store and microwave them to crisp them but you can also dice or cook bacon slices and crumble them.  Add the bacon to the broth/onion/garlic mixture.

Add the half and half or cream and the seasonings to taste.  Add the spinach leaves, stirring gently to wilt them and mix in.  Add the parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes; let it simmer to reduce and thicken.

Spoon as much of the sauce over the chicken in your serving dish as you would like.  You can serve the extra sauce with the meal, as a topping for a side dish like mashed cauliflower or potatoes, or refrigerate it in an air tight container to use as a quick meal in a few days simply by cooking up some boneless chicken again and topping it.  

I made this dish because we had been out of town and had just returned home; I hadn't gone to the grocery store for fresh groceries yet and needed to use what we had on hand.  Thus, I used a red onion and some green onion instead of a yellow onion.

Adding the cream or half and half, and the rest of the ingredients

The spinach and parmesan

Stirring and letting simmer to thicken a bit

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