North African Chicken and Spinach Stew

The Smolletts
Servings: 4 - 6
1 to 2 hr

A delicious family time dinner!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
North African Chicken and Spinach Stew
  • 1 whole chicken (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Sea salt
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
  • Place the chicken in a large pot and cover it with water. Add the celery, carrot, onion, and bay leaves and season with 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken to a deep dish or bowl and let it drain. Strain the stock into a large bowl or pan and set aside. Transfer the vegetables from the strainer to a blender (remove the bay leaves), add the garlic, and puree until completely smooth. Set aside.
  • To make the spinach stew, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. When it's bubbling slightly, add the vegetable puree. Warm it through, about 2 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the cinnamon stick, then add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the reserved stock and bring to a simmer. Cook to let the flavors develop, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat and keep warm (remove the cinnamon stick before serving).
  • Meanwhile, when the chicken is cool enough to handle, pat it completely dry and break it down into 8 pieces: 2 thighs, 2 wings, and 2 breasts, then split the breasts in half. Place the chicken pieces in a large dish. Combine the granulated onion, granulated garlic, paprika, cayenne, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Completely coat the chicken in this dry rub.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the chicken pieces and sear until charred in spots, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Serve the chicken with rice and a generous ladle of spinach stew. Squeeze lemon over the plate if desired.
  • Tip: The spinach stew makes an excellent side dish to any protein!
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