Skillet chicken thighs in spinach pesto is a delicious meal served with basmati rice. I season boneless, skinless chicken thighs and brown the meat in olive oil. Once the chicken is browned, I prepare a spinach pesto with walnuts, garlic and parmesan cheese. The pesto is cooked in olive oil, releasing tons of flavor and aroma. A splash of chicken broth turns the pesto into a sauce that you finish cooking the chicken in. A final touch of beurre manié thickens the pesto, giving you a luscious sauce to spoon over your chicken and rice. Serve these pesto chicken thighs with marinated heirloom tomatoes for a truly special supper.
This recipe feeds 3-4 people and can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. I like to cook a double batch and save the leftovers for a tasty lunch the next day.
If you like this recipe for skillet chicken thighs in spinach pesto, try some of my other recipes as well!
1 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour (or gluten free flour if you prefer)
Cooked basmati rice for serving
1 large heirloom tomato, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon dried basil
Prepare the bruschetta tomatoes:
In a medium bowl combine the tomato, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and dried basil.
Toss to combine.
Set the tomatoes aside while you prepare the chicken.
Prepare the chicken:
Combine ½ teaspoon salt, the garlic powder and onion powder.
Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken thighs with the salt and garlic powder mixture.
Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to a saute pan and heat over medium heat.
Add the chicken thighs to the pan in a single layer until browned, 3 minutes per side.
Transfer the browned chicken to a bowl and let the pan cool.
While the pan is cooling, prepare the pesto.
Place the spinach in a food processor and pulse a few times to break down the leaves.
Add the walnuts, parmesan cheese and garlic to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is homogeneous and finely minced.
Clean and dry the cooled saute pan and add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
Warm the oil over medium heat and add the pesto to the pan. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the spinach is dark green, 3 minutes.
Add the broth to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Add the chicken thighs to the pesto sauce along with any chicken juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Simmer the chicken over low heat, uncovered, until the chicken is fully cooked, 15-20 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, combine the softened butter and flour until a paste forms.
Transfer the cooked chicken onto a clean plate and continue to simmer the sauce over low heat.
Add the butter and flour paste to the pesto sauce, stir to fully combine and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
Serve the chicken over rice and divide the sauce evenly among the servings.
Serve the marinated tomatoes alongside the rice and chicken.