Don’t let the looooong title deceive you…this is speedy quick, get it on the table in no time, who’s your daddy deliciousness at its finest.
We are talking cans, jars and pre-washed spinach magic, here. I am promising minimal amounts of slicing and dicing…..simple ingredients; and not too many of them at that! On a plate, ready to go in less than twenty minutes! AND it looks GAH-geous, right? Sooooo good. You up for this?
Get out your can opener, then.
Cannellini beans are the fairer cousin of the hardier kidney bean, and with their milder, more delicate feel, they add a creamy rich texture to a dish. The blank canvas of these babies holds up really well to the chewy sweetness of the sun-dried tomato flecks. I prefer my sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, preferably olive. I chopped up about 6 of these guys, but use as many as you like! They are slightly tricky to sliver up being that they are on the sticky side, so use a sharp knife, and be careful.
Add them to the beans that you have drained and rinsed and have ready in a saucepan over a low heat…you may want to add a little of that oil from the jar to loosen this up. Once this is hot go ahead and add some roughly chopped raw spinach. You will use an entire 5 ounce container but don’t be afraid… what starts as a monstrous pile wilts down into beautiful bits of green confetti. Popeye would approve.
Now for the chicken I used four boneless, skinless breasts. Spice ’em up however you like and don’t be shy, that’s a big part of the goodness here…….I used salt and pepper, some smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne, but you can use any spice combination that you like (here’s one if you like to DIY). Not much of a spice rack accumulated? No problem, just make sure you season well with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper and you will be good to go. Make sure to liberally hit both sides. Get a large frying pan over a medium/high heat and melt in approximately three pats of butter, along with a drizzle of olive oil.
When the butter has that frothy, sizzling look to it, add your chicken. Don’t crowd them, they need room to brown up. Let them go for six minutes (try to keep yourself from moving them around….I know it’s hard but you can do it) then give ’em a flip. Another six minutes on the other side should do it. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover this with foil to rest for at least five to seven minutes. This is really important – always take the time to do that with any cooked protein.
Now chicken can be a tiny bit tricky and you really don’t want to over cook it. But you don’t want underdone chicken either, amirite? So if you are feeling nervous, thinking 6 minutes per side is not enough (which is possible, your breasts may very well be bigger than mine – wait – did I just go there?) go ahead and with a small sharp knife, slice into the thickest part of the biggest one you got cookin’ over there and take a quick peek. Super raw of course means you need more time (turn the heat down a bit at this point so you don’t over-brown) but if it’s just barely pink remember it will continue cooking off the heat, AND the juices will redistribute, leaving it perfectly moist, so go ahead and get it out of the pan, and let it have its rest time.
While that is happening add a couple more pats of butter to the hot pan. Turn off the heat while you stir the browned bits in the pan up into that sizzling butter……..oh yum….
Now slice up that beautiful chicken (siesta time is OV-AH!) and lay it over some of that creamy, beanie goodness, restaurant style. Give it a drizzle of your browned butter.
Ready for my close-up now.
Less than 20 minutes! 5 main ingredients! Dinner tonight! Lunch tomorrow! (if you are lucky)
RECIPE BELOW: You can make this for 4 servings but if you only have a package of 2, do it for 2! Just use one can of beans……….although leftovers are pretty delish so you may want to go full out. This really, truly takes less than 20 minutes to whip up. I can’t get over it myself.
- 2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed*
- 6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, preferably in olive oil, thinly sliced
- 5 ounce container of raw spinach, roughly chopped
- 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
- 5 pats of butter (or about 1/2 a stick) divided
- olive oil
- your choice of spices to dust up your chicken***
- Kosher Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- In a medium sized saucepan, over a low to medium heat, combine the cannellini beans and sun dried tomatoes. You may want to add in a drizzle of oil from the jar your SDTomatoes came in, to loosen things up a little.
- Once the beans are hot, stir in the chopped spinach to wilt. You may have to do this in installments but it will all fit once it cooks down. Taste for seasoning, adding a pinch of salt if you need to. Keep warm.
- Liberally sprinkle spices of your choice over the chicken, making sure both sides are well seasoned.
- Place about three pats of butter, and a little drizzle of olive oil (this will help to keep the butter from burning) in a large skillet over a medium high heat.
- Once the butter looks foamy/frothy, add the chicken, making sure not to crowd. Cook for 4-6 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces...for reference mine were a little bit over 1/2 lb. each and I cooked them for 6 minutes per side****), then flip to the other side for 6 more minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate, cover this with foil to rest for at least 5-7 minutes, the longer the better.
- In that hot pan, swirl in the remaining pats of butter, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Turn off the heat.
- Spoon some of the bean mixture down onto a plate, slice the chicken (through the shorter side, against the grain, on a slight angle) and fan several slices over the beans. Drizzle over some of that browned butter from the pan.
- That looks and tastes like it took a whole lot longer than it actually did. This is a quickie any night of the week wonder that you will come back to time and time again. YUM!
- *Cooking for two? Just pretty much halve this recipe! Use 2 pieces of chicken, 1 can of beans.......no problem.
- **a pat is a pat is a pat.........just eyeball it
- *** I used about a heaping teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and a lot of salt and black pepper. You can use whatever you like just don't be skimpy!
- ****Take a little peak with a sharp knife into the thickest part of a breast to check for doneness. If you need more than the allotted time, go ahead and keep cooking, just turn down the heat to medium low at this point to avoid over browning.