Braised Chicken with Rice and Spinach
Although this recipe requires a slow braise, it is largely a hands-off meal. The slow cooking will reward you with exceptional flavor in this wholesome, one-pot dinner.


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh, minced)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup (5 ounces) brown rice (see notes)
  • 5 ounces (about 4 cups, lightly packed) curly spinach, roughly chopped (could use other dark, leafy green of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan or Manchego cheese, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften and brown a bit on the edges.
  2. Add the chicken, and cook for about 5 minutes, browning on both sides.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the water, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. (I adjusted over the course of cooking and found a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and a scant half teaspoon of fresh pepper to be perfect for our tastes.)
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  5. At this point, I removed the chicken to a plate and half shredded, half cut it into bite-size pieces, and then returned to the pot.
  6. Finally add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then add the brown rice. Cover and continue cooking over low heat (you want the mixture to be at a very gentle simmer) for another 45-50 minutes or until the rice is cooked but is not mushy. (Check early a time or two as the rice will continue to cook in the hot broth for a few more minutes after being removed from the heat.)
  7. Stir in the chopped spinach, the balsamic vinegar, and check for seasoning.
  8. Serve with a sprinkling of cheese, if desired.


  • Using 3/4 cup of rice will yield a finished product that is like a thick soup after the mixture sits for a few minutes. If you would prefer to use white rice, you will only need to simmer for 20 minutes or so. If you use pasta, as was done in the original recipe, you may only need to simmer 10-15 minutes, depending on the type of pasta being used.

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