Pan Fried Chicken and Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Spinach

Mildly flavored yet a remarkable dish…

Before I start cooking, I always peek into my refrigerator and pantry, most of the times I go with the ingredients available at that time and try to season it, combine it and cook it. The other day, I had butternut squash and spinach in my refrigerator, quinoa in my pantry and chicken breasts in my freezer and I challenged myself  to make a delicious dinner with these. Ever since I tried quinoa, I’ve fallen head over heels for it, even though it tastes blant by itself I love the crunchy and nutty flavor of it. With butternut squash, I tend to make soups, sweets and sometimes just bake till it turns caramelized. Spinach, a versatile green that I add to almost everything, love spinach scrambled eggs.

This time, I wanted to add very less spices and keep it mild. For making this dish, I’ve only used ground pepper and salt. I thought it would turn out to be a blant dish, surprisingly it tasted so good. Boiled butternut squash has a sweet taste, so when combined with quinoa, it imparted a mildly sweet taste to the dish. Pan fried the chicken and served it with quinoa.

Pan fried chicken and Quinoa with butternut squash and spinach

Ingredients:

For Pan frying chicken:

  • Chicken breasts, halved vertically- 4
  • Ground pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil- 1-2 tbsp/batch

For making quinoa:

  • Quinoa- 1 1/2 cups
  • Water- 3 cups
  • Butternut squash, cubed- 1
  • Spinach- 1 bunch
  • Ground pepper- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- to taste

Instruction

  1. Cut the chicken breasts vertically into halves, season both sides with ground pepper and salt.
  2. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Place the chicken breasts without crowding them.
  4. Cook covered till all the water has evaporated, flip to the other side and let it turn golden brown on both sides.
  5. Transfer to a plate and cook the rest of the chicken.
  6. If you want you could bake the chicken instead of pan frying it.

Making quinoa:

  1. Rinse the quinoa taken in a strainer under running water, this is to remove any bitter taste from it.
  2. Heat a large pan, add 3 cups water to it and add quinoa to it. Season with little salt.
  3. Cook the quinoa over medium heat till all the water has dried off, about 15 to 20 minutes, keep aside.
  4. Cube the butternut squash, cook it covered after adding 1/4 cup water to it. Cook till it is fork tender.
  5. After pan frying the chicken, use the same pan to saute the spinach.
  6. Cook the spinach till it starts to wilt, about 3-5 minutes, keep aside.
  7. Combine the cooked quinoa with cooked butternut squash, sauteed spinach.
  8. Season with ground pepper and salt, combine well.
  9. Place quinoa on a plate, top it with pan fried chicken breasts and serve while it’s warm.

Tips:

  • If you want the quinoa to be flavorful, cook it in chicken stock instead of water.
  • Vegetarians can serve the quinoa dish as a side.

 

Pan Fried Chicken and Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Spinach
 
Ingredients
For Pan frying chicken
  • Chicken breasts, halved vertically- 4
  • Ground pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil- 1-2 tbsp/batch
For making quinoa
  • Quinoa- 1½ cups
  • Water- 3 cups
  • Butternut squash, cubed- 1
  • Spinach- 1 bunch
  • Ground pepper- ½ tsp
  • Salt- to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken breasts vertically into halves, season both sides with ground pepper and salt.
  2. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Place the chicken breasts without crowding them.
  4. Cook covered till all the water has evaporated, flip to the other side and let it turn golden brown on both sides.
  5. Transfer to a plate and cook the rest of the chicken.
  6. If you want you could bake the chicken instead of pan frying it.
Making quinoa
  1. Rinse the quinoa taken in a strainer under running water, this is to remove any bitter taste from it.
  2. Heat a large pan, add 3 cups water to it and add quinoa to it. Season with little salt.
  3. Cook the quinoa over medium heat till all the water has dried off, about 15-20 minutes, keep aside.
  4. Cube the butternut squash, cook it covered after adding ¼ cup water to it. Cook till it is fork tender.
  5. After pan frying the chicken, use the same pan to saute the spinach.
  6. Cook the spinach till it starts to wilt, about 3-5 minutes, keep aside.
  7. Combine the cooked quinoa with cooked butternut squash, sauteed spinach.
  8. Season with ground pepper and salt, combine well.
  9. Place quinoa on a plate, top it with pan fried chicken breasts and serve while it's warm.
Notes
If you want the quinoa to be flavorful, cook it in chicken stock instead of water.
Vegetarians can serve the quinoa dish as a side.

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