Photo by Deb Lindsey and food styling by Lisa Cherkasky; for The Washington Post
This stew of fragrant, spice-infused tomato sauce, tender bites of chicken thigh and meaty chickpeas, and ribbons of just-wilted spinach tastes like a complicated, long-cooking meal, but it is quite simple to make and ready in about half an hour. The stew tastes even better with a day or two’s refrigeration.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces (excess fat trimmed)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed
One 14.5- ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with their juices
One 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
One 15-ounce can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
3 packed cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
Season the chicken all over with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, wide-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes total, stirring once or twice until it has browned, then transfer it to a plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until it has softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, the tomato sauce, chickpeas and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Return the chicken with any accumulated juices to the pot; cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Stir in the spinach and cook until it is wilted, 1 minute more. Taste, and add more crushed red pepper flakes, as needed. Serve hot.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1 cup
Per Serving: Calories 390; Total Fat 18g (Sat Fat 3g); Protein 30g; Carb 29g; Fiber 9g; Cholesterol 105mg; Sodium 530mg: Sugars 10g (Including 0 g added sugars)