Slow-Cooker Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Spinach for Two
Why This Recipe Works
A specialty from the Catalonian region of Spain, sautéed spinach with garlic, raisins, and pine nuts is a simple yet satisfying combination of flavors and textures. To create a complete meal in the slow cooker inspired by this traditional tapas dish, we braised chicken thighs in an aromatic mixture of onion, garlic, and sweet paprika with a bit of tomato paste for depth. We then used the flavorful braising liquid to wilt the spinach and meld all of the flavors. Quick-cooking, delicate spinach may not seem like a good match for the slow cooker, but by adding it for just 15 minutes at the end of cooking, we had perfectly crisp-tender spinach without all of the oil typically needed for sautéing. We placed the cooked thighs on top of the spinach as the leaves cooked, which both kept the chicken warm and moist and weighed down the spinach so it stayed submerged in the liquid. A splash of lemon juice added bright acidity to the spinach and balanced the rich, tender chicken thighs perfectly.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|1||onion, chopped fine|
|4||garlic cloves, sliced thin|
|2||teaspoons tomato paste|
|1||teaspoon canola oil|
|⅛||teaspoon red pepper flakes|
|4||(6-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed of all visible fat|
|Salt and pepper|
|12||ounces (12 cups) baby spinach|
|¼||cup golden raisins|
|1||tablespoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving|
|1||tablespoon toasted pine nuts|
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1. Lightly spray inside of slow cooker with vegetable oil spray. Microwave onion, garlic, tomato paste, oil, paprika, and pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in water. Season chicken with salt and pepper, place in slow cooker, and turn to coat with onion mixture. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 3 to 4 hours on low.
2. Transfer chicken to plate. Stir spinach into slow cooker, 1 handful at a time, until slightly wilted. Stir in raisins, then nestle chicken into spinach with any accumulated juices. Cover and cook on high until spinach is fully wilted and tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Transfer chicken to plates. Stir lemon juice and pine nuts into spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken and spinach with lemon wedges.