Last Friday, I left work and, as I was walking to my bus, I got a phone call. A few friends were on their way over, dropping by for an unexpected visit. I hung up the call with a smile, which then quickly turned into a panicked frown - what was I going to make for dinner?
It was the end of the week and I hadn't planned for any real company, so supplies were limited in the kitchen. I made a quick pit-stop at the store and grabbed enough chicken cutlets to feed everyone and went home to get cooking - what, I had no idea.
I rifled through the cupboards, fridge and freezer, all while yelling at my husband to straighten up, we had company coming over!
I found two boxes of frozen chopped spinach, lots of brown rice, half a pack of bacon and a couple cans of Progresso's recipe starters they'd sent me a week or so before to test out. I couldn't think of a better opportunity than this for a test, so I went with the roasted garlic.
Now, I don't like to toot my own horn, but I felt like a hostess superstar when my friends walked in marveling at how I'd managed to get home and cook what smelled like an amazing dinner all for them. They were going to suggest we order pizza. HA.
Here's my recipe - it came together in exactly 35 minutes. If I did it all again, I'd add some additional seasoning to my starter sauce to hold up against the stronger bacon flavor, but otherwise, it was definitely a success!
12 chicken cutlets (mine were about 1/2" thick)
1 can Progresso Recipe Starter Creamy Roasted Garlic Cooking Sauce
2 packages frozen chopped spinach (or bag of fresh spinach if you can prep ahead!)
6 slices cooked bacon
2 cups instant white or brown rice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock, or water
In a pot, boil water. You'll use it later for your rice. Not using instant rice? Make it first, instead!
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook your bacon strips. While they cook, sprinkle your chicken with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning.
Once the bacon is crispy, transfer to a plate lined with paper to drain.
Raise the heat under your pan to medium-high and sear both sides of your seasoned chicken in the bacon grease. Once both sides are browned and slightly crisp, transfer from the heat to another plate.
Reduce the heat under your pan to medium-low and pour in the chicken stock or water. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any of the bacon or chicken bits for flavor. Then, pour in your Progresso creamy roasted garlic starter sauce. Stir, then add in your spinach. If you're using fresh spinach, toss in the sauce, then add your chicken back into the pan, with juices, immediately. If using frozen spinach, allow to cook through a bit more, then add the chicken. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook through, about 10 minutes depending on how thin your chicken is.
While your chicken cooks through, make your rice.
Once everything is cooked, plate. Top your rice with the chicken and creamed spinach mix, then garnish with a crumbled bacon strip per person.